WEDNESDAY www.thestatesman.com 12 SEPTEMBER 2018 FIND US ONLINE Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 16 |`5|LC KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR LYNCH MOBS GO BERSERK IN NITISH’S BIHAR P7 P5 SENSEX 37,413.13 -509.04 WEATHER Partly cloudy sky with possibility of thundery development. The maximum and minimum temperatures would be around 35 and 26 degrees Celsius respectively. RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max. 87% Min. 63% Max: 34.3°C (+1) SUN RISES 06:05 hrs MOON RISES 09:32 hrs Min: 26°C (+1) SUN SETS 18:30 hrs MOON SETS 20:33 hrs TEMPERATURE THUMBNAILS Sharif's wife passes away: Begum Kulsoom Nawaz, wife of deposed and now jailed Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, passed away in a hospital in London on Tuesday after months of battle with cancer, the family said. She is survived by her husband and four grown up children: Hassan, Hussain, Maryam and Asma. Nawaz Shairf and Maryam are serving a jail sentence in Rawalpindi for P13 graft. CRITICS CONSPIRING TO REMOVE ME: PHILIPPINES PREZ CONGRESS EQUALLY RESPONSIBLE FOR FUEL PRICE HIKE NIFTY 11,287.50 -150.60 P13 ` vs $ 72.61 GOLD The already record-high petrol and diesel prices in the country are likely to scale new highs in coming days since crude oil prices in the international market and the US dollar against the Indian currency continue to cost more, even as the Centre is not expected to cut excise duty on fuels for now. Going by several petroleum ministry officials' views, the finance ministry is in no mood to cut excise duty on fuels until there is "some major spike" in international crude oil prices. "At least there would be no relief in coming days," said a senior petroleum ministry official. Similar indications have come from many state governments barring a few such as the Assembly election-bound Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh and now West Bengal, where their governments have slashed their state taxes marginally. The petrol and diesel prices today reportedly rocketed to fresh highs, sharpening their blow on common people and their household budgets, as rupee plunged to an all-time low that made imports costlier. A 14 paise per litre hike in the fuel prices took the rates to a new all-time high today, according to price notification of state-owned oil companies. The petrol price in the national capital rose to Rs 80.87 per litre, while in Mumbai it soared to Rs 88.26. A litre of diesel was priced Rs 72.97 in Delhi and Rs 77.47 in Mumbai. Delhi has the cheapest fuel rates among all metros and most state capitals because of lower state taxes or VAT. Mumbai has the highest VAT or sales tax. Petrol in Chennai stood at Rs 84.07 per litre and Rs 83.75 in Kolkata. The diesel price was at Rs 77.15 per litre in Chennai and at Rs 75.82 in Kolkata. Aadhaar can’t be hacked, says UIDAI: The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) on Tuesday dismissed reports of hacking of Aadhaar enrolment software as "completely incorrect and irresponsible" and said some vested interests were trying to create confusion. The denial came after a probe by HuffPost India revealed that the Aadhaar database had been compromised by a software patch. Doctorate of Science CNR Rao and Doctorate of Literature Soumitra Chjatterjee during the 6th annual convocation of Presidency UniverDILIP DUTTA sity in Kolkata on Tuesday. +97.00 Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee during a press meet at Nabanna on SNS Tuesday. KOLKATA, 11 SEPTEMBER Hardly a day after her unwillingness to reduce the prices of petroleum products in Bengal, chief minister Miss Mamata Banerjee decided to slash the prices of petrol and diesel by one rupee per litre in the state with effect from tonight. While speaking to reporters at Nabanna today Miss Banerjee said According to oil companies, refinery gate prices of petrol and diesel, without accounting for any INJURED INNOCENCE that her government would slash the prices of petrol and diesel by one rupee per litre. She has urged the Centre to reduce the cess on fuel prices. “For the time being we have decided to reduce the prices by one rupee per litre of petrol and diesel. We also demand that the central government should also consider cutting down the cess on diesel and petrol prices. The BJP government at the centre has hiked excise nine times, even the global crude oil prices are falling. We don't even get cess. Common people are badly suffering owing to the hike,” she said. SNS Sensex plunges 509 points MUMBAI, 11 SEPTEMBER An Afghan wounded boy receives treatment at a hospital following multiple explosions in Jalalabad on Tuesday. A boy was killed and four others were wounded in a double bombing (P13) outside a girls school in eastern Afghanistan, officials and witnesses said. AFP Amid mounting apprehension of equity markets being pushed into bearish phase on account of myriad domestic and internal factors, Kotak Securities has come out with a report that counts on the benefits of falling partially convertible rupee for information technology or IT shares for financial years 2018-19 and 2019-20. The agency has decided to upgrade nine IT shares that are being traded regularly on the Bombay Stock Exchange and the National Stock (P11) Exchange. SNS Large number of bad loans originated in 2006-2008, says RBI ex-governor Rajan IANS NEW DELHI, 11 SEPTEMBER A larger number of bad loans or NPAs originated in 2006-2008 when Indian economic growth was strong as the banks made mistakes, former RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan has said. He said that global slowdown, project cost overruns and government decision-making were among the factors that contributed to the process. "A larger number of bad loans originated in 20062008 when economic growth was strong, and previous infrastructure projects such as power plants had been completed on time and within budget. It is at such times that banks make mis- takes. They extrapolate past growth and performance to the future. So, they are willing to accept higher leverage in projects, and less promoter equity," he said. In a note to Parliament's Estimates Committee on Non-Performing Assets (NPAs) of public sector banks, Rajan called for examining MUDRA loans and Kisan Credit Cards more closely for potential credit risk. In the note prepared on request of committee Chairman and BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi, the former RBI chief said that the Credit Guarantee Scheme for MSME run by SIDBI is a growing contingent liability and needs to be examined with urgency. Rajan pointed out that the loan waivers vitiate the credit culture and an allparty agreement to this IANS HYDERABAD, 11 SEPTEMBER gana Rashtra Samithi (TRS). The alliance will also seek support of all people's organisations, employees, unemployed and women's groups. The leaders of Congress, Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and Communist Party of India (CPI) met at a star hotel in the city. This was their first meeting to form an alliance. Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao last week dissolved the Assembly to go for This is the first time in Telugu Desam Party's 35-year-old history that it is joining hands with the Congress in a state (Telangana). State Congress chief said they would try to bring together all Opposition parties to defeat Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) early elections. The polls are likely in November. The opposition parties have termed TRS chief's action as undemocratic. Uttam Kumar Reddy, TDP's Telangana unit president L. Ramna and CPI's state secretary Chada Venkat Reddy and other leaders of the three parties held the talks. Later, they joined leaders of other opposition parties to meet Governor E.S. L. Narasimhan and demand President's rule in the state. They said that free and fair elections were not possible in Telangana with Chandrashekhar Rao as the caretaker Chief Minister. The state Congress chief later told reporters that the opposition parties have expressed their concern over KCR abusing power for the benefit of TRS. They said KCR had openly claimed that he had P15 36,699 +310.00 BRENT OIL (IN $) 77.78 +0.41 57 killed as bus falls into gorge in Telangana Tuesday’s accident is the worst in the history of RTC central or state tax and dealers commission, are Rs 40.45 and Rs 44.28 per litre respectively. TURN TO PAGE 7 effect would be in the country's interest in view of impending elections. The Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party have traded charges over mounting NPAs and the Congress has been pressing the Modi government to announce loan waiver to farmers. The ex-RBI Governor said that sometimes banks signed up to lend money based on project reports by the promoter's investment bank without doing their own due diligence. Rajan said that years of strong growth before the global financial crisis were followed by a slowdown which extended to India and demand projections for various projects were shown to be increasingly unrealistic. Grand alliance in T’gana to take on TRS In a major development, opposition Congress, TDP and CPI on Tuesday joined hands to form a grand alliance to take on the ruling TRS in Telangana in the ensuing Assembly elections. The leaders of these parties announced after first round of talks that they are forming the alliance. This is the first time in Telugu Desam Party's 35-year-old history that it is joining hands with the Congress in a state. State Congress chief Uttam Kumar Reddy said they would try to bring together all opposition parties to defeat Telan- SILVER Mamata cuts petro prices PM announces hike in rural health workers’ wages: Fulfilling a long-standing demand, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday announced a hike in remuneration of ASHA and Anganwadi workers across the country. An announcement to this effect came during Modi's interaction with ANM (Auxiliary Nurse Midwife), ASHA and Anganwadi workers over P10 audio-video bridge from Delhi. Mamata blames evil forces for cancelling her US trip: “Evil forces” threatened the Ramakrishna Mission, forcing it to cancel the Chicago trip of CM Mamata Banerjee to mark the 125th anniversary of Vivekananda’s historic speech there, Miss Banerjee said at Belur Math on Tuesday evening. Speaking at the 125th anniversary celebration of the Swami’s Chicago speech, she said the incident pained her. 30,499 Fuel prices to scale new highs STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 11 SEPTEMBER MARTINA WADES INTO SERENA CONTROVERSY discussed with Central Election Commission to hold the elections in November. "This is against the principles of democracy and against the Constitution. Holding of elections and formation of government is the duty of Election Commission and not the ruling party's," he said. Uttam Kumar Reddy said that Prime Minister Modi, CM KCR and Election Commission appear to be in connivance to suppress people's democratic rights. He said that the Election Commission had announced the schedule for revision of electoral rolls on September 1. The entire process was to be completed by January 4. STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE HYDERABAD, 11 SEPTEMBER F ifty seven persons, including six children, were killed when a stateowned Road Transport Corporation bus skidded off a hill road into a valley near Jagityal. Today’s accident is the worst in the history of the RTC, which dates back to the Nizam who began the services in 1932. The accident took place between 11.45 am and noon when the bus was returning from the Anjaneya Swamy temple to Jagityal. Police sources say that primarily the brakes of the bus failed as it was negotiating a sharp curve on the hill road. The bus was carrying The accident took place between 11.45 am and noon when the bus was returning from the Anjaneya Swamy temple to Jagityal. Police say primarily the brakes of the bus failed over 80 passengers. When police and rescue teams reached the spot they found that 20 passengers died. Most of them died of suffocation as they fell on each other. But the toll steadily rose and reached the alarming figure towards evening as the victims died of their injuries at the Jagityal Area Hospital. Chief minister Mr K Chandrashekar Rao expressed deep shock and announced Rs 5 lakh to the next of the kin who died in the accident. With the toll increasing ever so often he directed his son and IT minister Mr KT Rama Rao and his daughter and MP, Mrs Kavita to rush to the spot. When their helicopter was taking off at Begumpet he asked them to take along transport minister Mr Mahender Reddy who was at Vikarabad. Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi, Union home minister Mr Rajnath Singh and Andhra Pradesh chief minister Mr N Chandrababu Naidu were among the several leaders who tweeted their anguish at the accident and offered condolences. Attachment of properties illegal, allegations false, says Choksi SNS & AGENCIES ‘Choksi diverted `3,257 crore’ NEW DELHI, 11 SEPTEMBER In his first interview since the Rs 13,000 crore Punjab National Bank fraud case came to light, absconding fugitive Mehul Choksi claimed that all accusations against him are false and called the attachment of properties by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) "illegal". Choksi, the uncle of PNB fraud main accused Nirav Modi, is currently living in Antigua having fled to the Caribbean island nation on a passport he obtained via the country's Citizenship by Investment programme in November 2017. Responding to questions posed by ANI and read to him by his lawyer, Choksi said, "All allegations levelled by ED are false and baseless. They have attached my properties illegally without there being any basis for the same." On a question of the suspension of his Indian passport, Choksi claimed that after India revoked his passport altogether, he was immobilised on 16 February. "The passport authorities revoked my passport altogether, in view of which I was immobilised on 16 February. I was approached by passport office which said that my passport had been suspended due to reasons of security threat to India," he said. "On 20 February I sent an email to the regional passport office at Mumbai requesting them to revoke the suspension of my passport. However I did not receive any reply from the office. Further, the office did not give an explanation on why my pass- NEW DELHI,11 SEPTEMBER port was suspended and how I was a security threat to India," he claimed. A designated PMLA authority said on 3 September that 41 properties worth about Rs 1,210 crore belonging to Choksi that were attached by the ED are money laundering assets and ordered that their attachment should continue. These properties include 15 flats and 17 office premises in Mumbai, a mall in Kolkata, a four-acre farm house in Alibaug and 231 acres of land in Nashik, Nagpur and Panvel in Maharashtra and Villupuram in Tamil Nadu. The attached assets also included a 170-acre park in Hyderabad's Ranga Reddy district valued at over Rs 500 crore. ED had attached these properties in February this year under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) in connection with the multi-crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud case involving a Mumbai-based branch. Choksi was granted Antiguan citizenship "after extensive vetting" in November 2017. Antiguan authorities said that Choksi "swore the Oath of Allegiance in Antigua on 15 January 2018" and obtained residency through the Citizenship by Fugitive diamond jeweller Mehul Choksi, wanted in the Rs 13,500-crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud case, diverted over Rs 3,257 crore of the money raised from fraudently obtained letters of undertaking (LOUs) and foreign letters of credit (FLCs) to overseas dummy firms, an informed source said on Tuesday. The Enforcement Directorate (ED) source revealed that Choksi of the Gitanjali Group, who acquired the Antiguan citizenship, also highly inflated the prices of precious metals sold from his business outlets and diverted about $106 million to his nephew Nirav Modi and his father Deepak Modi. The ED source, requesting for anonymity, told IANS: "Over Rs 3,250 crore was diverted and deposited in the Gitanjali Group firms in the US, United Arab Emirates, Thailand, the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Japan, Italy and BelIANS gium." Investment programme through which anyone can 'purchase' the country's citizenship. The Citizenship by Investment Unit (CIU) also told Antigua Observer that a "robust due diligence international investigation" was conducted before granting Choksi citizenship and that "the 2017 investigation revealed no derogatory information".
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.