CMYK WEDNESDAY www.thestatesman.com 28 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 P4 SENSEX 34,346.39 -99.36 WEATHER Mainly clear sky with maximum and minimum temperatures around 33 degree C and 23 degree C, respectively RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max.91% TEMPERATURE Max: 32.6°C (+1) SUN RISES 05:58 hrs MOON RISES 16:01hrs P8 NIFTY 10,554.30 -28.00 THUMBNAILS A picture taken with a drone shows a windmill in Stove, northeastern Germany, covered in snow on Tuesday. A blast of Siberian weather dubbed ‘The Beast from the East’ sent temperatures plunging across much of Europe. AFP Air strikes hit Syria enclave: Fresh air strikes and rocket fire rattled the five-hour pause in Syria’s rebel-held enclave of Eastern Ghouta on Tuesday, several sources said. However, the head of the Observatory, Rami Abdel Rahman, said no deaths were immediately reported. France has urged Russia to use its influence over Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to secure 30-day truce covering the country. P10 PM dubs Siddu govt seedha rupaiya sarkar: BJP and Congress were locked in a slugfest over corruption in battle ground Karnataka, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi calling the Siddaramaiah government seedha rupaiya sarkar that works only for money. The Congress hit back. Its communications chief Randeep Singh Surjewala targeted the PM over his silence on the PNB scam, asking him to P4 turn from maun Modi to bol Modi’. Vaid says no signs of IS presence in J&K: There are no visible signs of ISIS presence in Kashmir even as a possibility exists of it carrying out a wolf-kind of attack, J&K police chief S P Vaid said on Tuesday after the terror group's claim of having killed a policeman on Sunday. He said terror outfit’s claim would be verified. P3 GST collection marginally down: The collection of GST slipped marginally to Rs 86,318 crore in January from Rs 86,703 crore in December. ‘The total revenue received under GST for the month of January 2018 (received in January/February up to 25 February 2018) P8 has been Rs 86,318 crore,’ the FM said. Polling ends in Nagaland, Meghalaya: Satisfactory polling was recorded in Meghalaya and Nagaland Assembly elections on Tuesday, the result of which will be out on Saturday. P2 PRESS TRUST OF INDIA he body of Bollywood icon Sridevi, whose sudden death triggered a frenzy of grief, disbelief and searching questions, was flown back to Mumbai today after Dubai authorities determined that she had accidentally drowned in her hotel bathtub. Family members, including her film-maker husband, Boney Kapoor, and stepson Arjun Kapoor, brought her body in a private jet after three days of uncertainty over her unexpected death on Saturday in Dubai. Earlier today, Dubai Public Prosecutor’s Office put an end to speculation about the cause of her death, saying she accidentally drowned in the bathtub following loss of consciousness, and that the “case was now closed”. It did not say what caused the 54-year-old superstar to lose consciousness. T The Embraer jet, owned by industrialist Anil Ambani, landed in Mumbai around 9.30 p.m. and the cremation is scheduled tomorrow around 3.30 p.m. Anil Ambani, wife Tina Ambani and Anil Kapoor were among those at the airport when the plane landed. The mortal remains were then taken to the Lokhandwala residence of the Kapoors where about a dozen police personnel and as many private security men were deployed for crowd management. Sridevi, known as Indian cinema’s first woman superstar, leaves behind her husband and their two daughters, Jahnvi and Khushi. “On behalf of Khushi, Janhvi, Boney Kapoor, the entire Kapoor and Ayyappan families, a sincere thanks to the media for your continued sensitivity and support during this emotional moment,” a statement by the family said. The 54-year-old icon was in Dubai to attend a family wedding. Her death sent shock waves across India with those who knew her at a loss to explain how the star could die so suddenly. At first it was reported she died of cardiac arrest, triggering questions and disbelief. However, it later emerged she had drowned in the bathtub in her room at the Jumeirah Emirates Towers hotel. As more speculation swirled, the Dubai government’s media office said in a series of tweets that the case is now closed. “Dubai Public Prosecution has approved the release of the body of the Indian actress Sridevi to her family following the completion of a comprehensive investigation into the cir- cumstances of her death,” it said. “Dubai Public Prosecution stressed that all regular procedures followed in such cases have been completed. As per the forensic report, the death of the Indian actress occurred due to accidental drowning following loss of consciousness. The case has now been closed.” In its statement, the family said her body will be kept at Celebration Sports Club in Lokhandwala near her home for people to pay their last respects from 9. 30 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. tomorrow before it is taken for cremation. The family said media can pay their respects “provided camera, recording devices, etc are left outside the venue”. “The last journey will commence at 2 pm from Celebration Sports Club to Vile Parle Seva Samaj Crematorium and Hindu Cemetery,” it said. While Sridevi had stayed back in Dubai after the ceremonies, husband Boney Kapoor had flown back to Mumbai with their you- BRENT CRUDE (IN $) 67.44 -0.06 For me it’s the most painful thing I have dealt with after my dad’s passing away...The love she had for me was so tremendous and intense that I feel somewhere that I have lost a guiding light in my life ACTOR RANI MUKHERJI It is a big shock for everyone. I have worked with the entire Kapoor family. I can’t imagine what Boneyji would be going through at this point. He loved her very much DIRECTOR ANEES BAZMI nger daughter Khushi. But he returned to Dubai to surprise her, said Khaleej Times. Arjun Kapoor reached Dubai this morning to be with his father. In Mumbai, industry insiders and friends visited the family in the home of actor Anil Kapoor. “For me it’s the most painful thing I have dealt with after my dad’s passing away. And her face is coming in front of me again and again,” actor Rani Mukherji said. “The love she had for me was so tremendous and intense that I feel somewhere that I have lost a guiding light in my life... She was like my maasi I would say. She was someone I looked up to. I just feel there is one more person I have lost in my life I loved and who loved me back,” Rani said. Director Anees Bazmi, who has worked with Boney Kapoor in No Entry, was among the many mourners trying to come to grips with the tragedy. The others who have called on the family include Shah Rukh Khan, wife Gauri, Rajinikanth, Kamal Haasan, Ranveer Singh, Deepika Padukone, Tabu, Rekha, Farah Khan, Javed Akhtar and Shabana Azmi. After subsidy withdrawal, reduction in airfare for Haj NEW DELHI, 27 FEBRUARY The government today announced a significant reduction in airfare for those going on the Haj, a month after it scrapped subsidies for the pilgrimage. Union minority affairs minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi described the move as a “major step”. “The PMO took a keen interest in this. The decision is in line with our empowerment without appeasement policy,” Naqvi told reporters. The reduction will be applicable to passages on Air India, Saudi Airlines and Flynas, an air carrier based in Saudi Arabia, to Jeddah and Medina from 21 airports in India. The decision to cut airfares will end the “political and economic exploitation” of Hajis “as was done during the Congress-led UPA regime”, Naqvi said. From Ahmedabad, the round fare this year will be around Rs 65,015 as against Rs 98,750 in 20132014. The passage from Mumbai has been brought down to around Rs 57,857 from Rs PTI 98,750 in 2013-14. PNB case aftereffect: PSBs asked to probe NPAs above `50 cr, refer fraud to CBI PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 27 FEBRUARY Finance Ministry today directed public sector banks (PSBs) to probe all NPA accounts of over Rs 50 crore for possible fraud and accordingly report the cases to CBI. The direction comes amid state-owned lender PNB reporting Rs 12,700 crore fraud through alleged fraudulent misuse of letters of undertaking (LoUs) by billionaire jeweller Nirav Modi and associates. Besides, other PSBs too have approached investigating agencies as borrowers (as in the case of Rotomac Group and Simbhaoli Sugars) have not returned loans. Financial Services secretary Rajiv Kumar, through a tweet informed that managing directors of PSBs have been directed to detect bank frauds and refer cases to the CBI. “PSB MDs directed to detect bank frauds & consequential wilful default in time & refer cases to CBI. To examine all NPA accounts > Rs 50cr for possible fraud,” the secretary said in the tweet. PSBs have also been asked to involve Enforcement Directorate/ Directorate of Revenue Intelligence for violations of PMLA, FEMA or Export Import norms. Stateowned banks, with com- bined gross non-performing assets of about Rs 8.5 lakh crore, have been asked by the ministry to go in for prompt fra-ud identification and take action within prescribed deadlines. Banks will also have to seek borrower status report from Central Economic Intelligence Bureau (CEIB) on the account turning NPA and CEIB will have to revert in a week. SEE ALSO P8 CS attends Kejriwal Cabinet meet amid raging assault row STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE Days after an unprecedented crisis gripped the Delhi government following the alleged assault on the chief secretary (CS) Anshu Prakash by two ruling AAP MLAs during a late-night meeting at chief minister Arvind Kejriwal’s residence on 19 February, the CS along with some other senior state bureaucrats attended the meeting of Kejriwal’s Council of Ministers here on Tuesday. This was the first official meeting ~ held to finalise dates for the Delhi Assembly’s Budget Session ~ in which the CS or any other state officer attended since the 19 February incident. However, the Joint Forum of Delhi Government Employees ~ which comprises IAS, DANICS and Delhi Administration Subordinate Service (DASS) officials ~ said today’s budgetary meeting was an “exception in public interest” and that in other official matters they would continue to communicate with the ministers only through written means till chief minister Kejriwal and deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia tender a “written public apology” for the alleged attack on the CS, the state’s top bureaucrat. Following the 19 February night incident, the Delhi government officials had decided to boycott meetings with the CM and his ministers till Kejriwal apologises over it and proper action is taken against the accused. Hours before today’s meeting of the Kejriwal’s Cabinet, Anshu Prakash wrote a letter to Kejriwal, stating he along with other offi- cers concerned will be attending this meeting on their assumption that the CM will ensure “no physical attack and verbal assault” on the officers. “A meeting of the Council of Ministers has been scheduled today to discuss important matters of finalisation of dates for the Budget Session of the Delhi Legislative Assembly. Since finalising the dates of the Budget Session and passing of the Budget are important for the functioning of government, I along with officers concerned, will be attending the meeting,” the CS told the CM. The meeting, chaired by chief minister Kejriwal, decided that the Delhi Assembly’s Budget Session will be held from 16 March to 28 March. The Budget is likely to be tabled in the Assembly after 19 March. ‘India not favouring US by cutting duties on Harley’ PRESS TRUST OF INDIA Imported motorcycles from high-end brands, including Harley Davidson and Trium-ph, are set to get cheaper in India as the government has slashed customs duty to 50% WASHINGTON, 27 FEBRUARY President Donald Trump today recalled a conversation with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the high import tariffs on Harley-Davidson motorcycles, saying India is not doing the US any “favour” by slashing customs duty to 50 per cent. Imported motorcycles from high-end brands, including Harley Davidson and Triumph, are set to get cheaper in India as the government has slashed customs duty to 50 per cent. Earlier, import of motorcycles with engine capacity of 800cc or less used to attract 60 per cent duty, while those with capacity of 800cc or more attracted 75 per cent duty. Addressing a gathering of governors of all the states at the White House, Trump said SILVER 38,900.00 00.00 Death case closed Body flown back to Mumbai Cremation to take place at 3.30 p.m. today NEW DELHI, 27 FEBRUARY HAL carries out hot refueling trial on Tejas: Inching close to Final Operational Clearance, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited has carried out a hot refueling trial on the indigenous Light Combat Aircraft-Tejas, followed by a sortieat the HAL airport in Bengaluru. GOLD 29,495.00 -45.00 P12 The last journey of a superstar Min. 40% Full moon on 0 December CALM DESPITE COMEBACK SPECULATION P10 ` vs $ 64.87 -8 PAISE MUMBAI/DUBAI, 27 FEBRUARY Min: 22.8°C (+2) SUN SETS 17:40 hrs MOON SETS 04:28 hrs SHAHBAZ SHARIF INTERIM CHIEF OF RULING PML-N ONE GST RATE NOT POSSIBLE, NEXT REFORM LATER: FM PM DUBS SIDDU GOVT ‘SEEDA RUPAIYA’ SARKAR the US wanted fair and reciprocal trade deals. “When they (Harley Davidson) send a motorcycle to India, as an example, they have to pay 100 per cent tax, 100 per cent,” Trump said. Referring to his recent conversation with Prime Minister Modi, he said the “fantastic man” informed him that India has reduced tariffs on imported motorcycles, but the US was “getting nothing”. “Now, the Prime Minister, who I think is a fantastic man, called me the other day and said we are lowering it to 50 per cent. I said okay, but so far we’re getting nothing. So we get nothing. He gets 50 (per cent), and they think we’re doing ~ like they're doing us a favour. That’s not a favour,” he said. “I wasn’t sure ~ he said it so beautifully. He’s a beautiful man. And he said, ‘I just want to inform you that we have reduced it to 75, but we have further reduced it to 50’,” Trump said, mocking Prime Minister Modi. “And I said, huh. What do I say? Am I supposed to be thrilled? And that's not good for you people, especially as governors. It’s just not right. And we have many deals like that,” he said. He said the US gets “zero” when it buys an Indian motorcycle. “It’s a great company. When I spoke with your chairman or the president of Harley, they weren’t even asking for it because they’ve been ripped off with trade so long that they were surprised that I brought it up. I’m the one that’s pushing it more than they are, but it's unfair. And India sells us a lot of motorbikes,” Trump said. This is for the second time in a month that Trump raised the issue of high import duties on motorcycles by India. Earlier, he had called it “unfair” and threatened to increase the tariff on import of Indian motorcycles to the US. CMYK State-owned banks, with combined gross nonperforming assets of about Rs 8.5 lakh cr, have been asked by the ministry to go in for prompt fraud identification and take action within deadlines Fraud put at close to $2 bn NEW DELHI, 27 FEBRUARY Punjab National Bank has said that the alleged fraud perpetrated by jewellers Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi may be around $2 billion, over $204 million more than previously estimated. The bank had earlier put the defrauded amount at Rs 11,394.02 crore ($1.77 billion). Adding another Rs 1,323 crore would take this to Rs 12,717 crore. PNB said it has not received any instruction from the government to compensate other lenders for losses arising out of the fraud.
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