WEDNESDAY www.thestatesman.com 28 FEBRUARY 2018 FIND US ONLINE Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 16 |`3|LC KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR P10 SENSEX 34,346.39 -99.36 WEATHER SHAHBAZ SHARIF INTERIM CHIEF OF RULING PML-N ONE GST RATE NOT POSSIBLE, NEXT REFORM LATER: FM PM DUBS SIDDU GOVT ‘SEEDHA RUPAIYA’ SARKAR ` vs $ 64.87 -8 PAISE GOLD 29,495.00 -45.00 Sridevi’s mortal remains brought to Mumbai RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY MUMBAI/DUBAI, 27 FEBRUARY Min. 38% TEMPERATURE Max: 30.0°C (+4) SUN RISES 06:46 hrs MOON RISES 16.38 hrs Min: 15.4°C (+3) SUN SETS 18:20 hrs MOON SETS 16:13 hrs THUMBNAILS 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 temperAFP atures plunging across much of Europe. 75 per cent turnout in Meghalaya and Nagaland, 1 killed: Around 75 per cent voters exercised their franchise on Tuesday in the Assembly polls in Meghalaya and Nagaland where sporadic violence claimed one life in a clash between the ruling Naga Peoples' Front and the BJP. The voting percentage is likely to go up in both the states. The counting of P7 votes will be taken up on 3 March. 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 P12 truce covering the country. Vaid says no signs of IS presence in J&K: There are no visible signs of ISIS presence in Kashmir even as a possibility does exist of it carrying out a lone wolf kind of attack, Jammu and Kashmir police chief S P Vaid said on Tuesday following the terror group's claim of having killed a policeman on Sunday. The DGP said the terror outfit’s P5 claim would be verified. HAL carries out hot refueling trial on Tejas: Inching close to Final Operational Clearance (FOC), Hindustan Aeronautics Limited has carried out a hot refueling trial on the indigenous Light Combat Aircraft-Tejas, followed by a sortie at the HAL airport in Bengaluru. The hot refueling cum sortie of LCA-Tejas was conducted on Monday. The system performance during the refueling session was in-line with design requirements and was satisfactory, HAL said in a release. 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) has been Rs 86,318 crore,’ the FM said. P 11 SILVER 38,900.00 00.00 PRESS TRUST OF INDIA T he body of Bollywood icon Sridevi, whose sudden death triggered a frenzy of grief, disbelief and searching questions, was flown back to Mumbai on Tuesday 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. 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 several police personnel along with a host of private security men were deployed for crowd management. As the ambulance carrying Sridevi's mortal remains entered her residence in suburban Andheri, a large number of fans jostled for a glimpse of their favourite actor. Both sides of the road leading to Sride- Death case closed in Dubai vi's 'Green Acres' residence in Lokhandwala were crowded with her fans, with some even climbing the trees to have a clear view. The ambulance, escorted by three police vehicles, brought the body home from the airport at around 10:30 p.m. soon after it arrived from Dubai. Designer Manish Malhotra, Shabana Azmi and Javed Akhtar were among those who visited the residence soon after the arrival of the body. 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 issued by the family said. The 54-year-old Bollywood 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 that she died of cardiac arrest, triggering questions and disbelief. However, it later emerged that she had drowned in the bathtub in her room at the Jumeirah Emirates Towers hotel in Dubai. 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 circumstances 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 Cel- BRENT CRUDE (IN $) 67.44 -0.06 Cremation at 3.30 p.m. today 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 ebration Sports Club in Lokhandwala near her home for people to pay their last respects from 9.30 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. on Wednesday before it is taken for cremation. The family said the media can also pay their respects “provided camera, recording devices, etc are left outside the venue”. “The last journey will commence at 2 p.m. 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, her husband Boney Kapoor had flown back to Mumbai with their younger daughter Khushi. But he returned to Dubai to surprise her, according to Khaleej Times newspaper. In Mumbai, industry insiders and friends visited the family in the home of actor Anil Kapoor, Boney Kapoor's younger brother. With their father away, Khushi and Jahnvi were at their uncle's Juhu home. Those who have called on the family in their hour of grief include Shah Rukh Khan, and his wife Gauri, Rajinikanth, Kamal Haasan, Tabu and Rekha among SEE ALSO PAGE 7 others. After subsidy withdrawal, reduction in airfare for Haj STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 27 FEBRUARY A month after scrapping subsidies for Haj pilgrims, the Naredra Modi government on Tuesday announced a significant reduction in airfares for devotees travelling to Saudi Arabia. The government slashed the airfare to the holy city of Mecca and Jeddah for Haj pilgrims by almost fifty per cent. The decision follows detailed deliberations by Prime Minister Modi, Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Aviation Minister among others. Describing the government's decision to reduce airfare "a major step" for Haj pilgrims, Naqvi told media persons here that it would be applicable to all the Jeddah-bound airlines from various cities of the country. Naqvi said that all airlines including Air India, Saudi Airlines and Flynas, airlines based in Saudi Arabia, carrying Hajis would follow the reduced airfare norm of the government. At present Jeddah and Medina-bound airlines are operating from 21 airports spread across the country. PNB case aftereffect: PSBs asked to probe NPAs above `50 cr, refer fraud to CBI STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 27 FEBRUARY The Union Finance Ministry on Tuesday asked public sector banks (PSBs) to examine all bad loans above Rs 50 crore for possible fraud. It has also given a 15 day deadline to take “pre-emptive” action for identifying gaps and to gear up for rising operational and technical risks. This came after Punjab National Bank (PNB) reported an increase of Rs 1,300 crore in its scam that snowballed to over Rs 12,700 crore now. Rajeev Kumar, Financial Services Secretary, in his Twitter post, said, “PSB managing directors directed to detect bank frauds and consequential wilful default in time and refer cases to CBI. To examine all non-per- forming asset (NPA) accounts above Rs 50 crore for possible fraud.” The direction to staterun banks, with combined gross NPAs of about Rs 8.5 lakh crore, come after unearthing of a massive fraud at the PNB, India's second biggest PSB. The state-run lenders have been asked to involve investigating agencies if they detect any violations. Banks will seek a borrower status report from Central Economic Intelligence Bureau (CEIB) on NPA accounts. The group of executive directors and chief technical officer will also prepare a report based on best practices and minimum acceptable standards. Based on the report, the Board of public sector banks must assign clear accountability to senior officials for imple- CS attends 1st meet with Kejri after ‘assault’ STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 27 FEBRUARY 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 of IAS, DANICS and Delhi Administration Subordinate Service (DASS) officials ~ said that today's budgetary Anshu Prakash 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 that he along with other officers 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. TURN TO PAGE 10 ‘India not favouring US by cutting duties on Harley’ PRESS TRUST OF INDIA 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% WASHINGTON, 27 FEBRUARY President Donald Trump on Tuesday 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 andTrium-ph, 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 P15 The last journey of a superstar Partly cloudy sky. Mist in the morning. The maximum and minimum temperatures would be around 30 and 15 degrees Celsius respectively. Max.85% P12 P11 NIFTY 10,554.30 -28.00 INJURED NEYMAR DOUBTFUL AGAINST REAL MADRID states at the White House, Trump said 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 thatTrump 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. mentation and compliance. Banks can involve other government agencies like the DRI and the ED if conditions warrant. Until now, banks would refer bad loan accounts for forensic audit if they saw early warnings signals suggesting fraud. Not all bad loan accounts above Rs 50 crore were scrutinised for fraud and wilful default. Fraud put at close to $2 bn NEW DELHI, 27 FEBRUARY Punjab National Bank (PNB) has now said that the alleged fraud perpetrated by fugitive jewellers Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi may be around $2 billion, over $204 million more than previously estimated. PNB had earlier put the defrauded amount at Rs 11,394.02 crore ($1.77 billion). Its scam would snowball to Rs 12,717 crore after adding another Rs 1,323 crore now. The state-run bank said it has not received any government instruction to compensate other lenders for losses arising out of the staggerSNS ing scam.
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