FRIDAY www.thestatesman.com 05 OCTOBER 2018 FIND US ONLINE Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 16 |` 5|LC KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR KAVANAUGH FATE BEFORE AMERICAN SENATE NAIDU SEES KEY ROLE IN NEXT GOVT FORMATION P6 SENSEX 35,169.16 -806.47 WEATHER Partly cloudy sky. Mist in the morning. The maximum and minimum temperatures would be around 35 and 23 degrees Celsius respectively. RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max. 86% TEMPERATURE Max: 35.5°C (+2) SUN RISES 06:16 hrs MOON RISES 03:00 hrs BEIJING IMRAN’S FIRST FOREIGN DESTINATION AS PM P12 NIFTY 10,599.25 -259.00 Min: 23.4°C (+2) SUN SETS 18:03 hrs MOON SETS 15:40 hrs THUMBNAILS Pakistani Rangers pose for photographs with the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup trophy during an event at the Pakistan-India Wagah Border AFP Post on Thursday. Rupee crashes to all-time low of 73.81: The t rupee on Thursday crashed to a historic low of 73.81 to the dollar due to the twin-impact of capital outflows triggered by surging US Treasury yields and crude oil prices racing to a four-year high. The domestic currency closed at a record low of 73.58, down by 24 paise, marking its third straight session of losses. The rupee has lost 110 paise or 1.51 per cent P11 in the three sessions since Monday. Pak seeks US role for talks with India: Pakistan wants the US to facilitate talks with India as the two nations are not engaging bilaterally, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has said, warning that the absence of dialogue could escalate tension. But the Pakistani request has been rejected by the US, the Pakistani leader told a Washington audience Wednesday, a day after he had meetings with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and NSA P5 John Bolton. ` vs $ 73.58 -24.00 PAISE GOLD 30,010.00 +65.00 Centre slashes fuel prices by `2.5 a litre STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 4 OCTOBER I n the face of recordhigh petrol and diesel prices in the country amid soar- ing international crude oil prices and the plunging Indian rupee against the US dollar, the central government today finally announced a Rs 2.50 per litre cut in petrol and diesel prices as it reduced excise duty by Rs 1.50 a litre while asking the State-run oil marketing companies (OMCs) to absorb another Re 1 on them. Announcing the decision, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley told a news conference that the cut in fuel prices will come into effect immediately, even as he also asked the state governments to match the Centre's move with a similar reduction of Rs 2.50 on fuel prices by slashing their sales tax or VAT. Close on the heels of the BJP-led central government's move ~ which came barely a couple of months before a crucial round of Assembly elections ~ a slew of BJP-ruled states including Gujarat, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Jharkhand, Assam and Tripura reportedly announced a cut in VAT of up to Rs 2.50 per litre to effect an overall Rs 5 per litre reduction in While the Central government cut excise duty on petrol and diesel by Rs 1.50 per litre and asked oil firms to absorb Re 1 a litre cut in prices, BJP-ruled states including Gujarat, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Jharkhand, Assam and retail fuel rates. The reduction in central excise duty, only the second during nearly four-and-a-half years of the Narendra Modi government, will dent its revenue by Rs 10,500 crore and was clearly aimed at cooling fuel prices that had rocketed to an all-time high across the country sharpening the blow on common people and their household budgets. Asking the state governments to follow suit, Jaitley claimed that it would be "test" for those states "whose leaders only tweet and indulge in lip sympathy" on the matter. "I am writing to the states to make corresponding cuts in VAT of equivalent amount so that consumers get Rs 5 relief in retail prices," he said. “Last time also only BJP and NDA-led state governments reduced VAT. This time if other state governments do not do it then people will ask them." Last month, the BJPruled Rajasthan and several Opposition-ruled states including Karnataka, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal had reduced their taxes to cushion consumers reeling under an unrelenting rise in fuel prices virtually on a daily basis. The Modi government had reportedly raised excise duty on petrol by Rs 11.77 a litre and that on diesel by Rs 13.47 a litre in 9 instalments between November 2014 and January 2016 to enhance revenue as global oil prices plunged, but slashed the excise on them only once in October 2017 earlier by Rs 2 a litre. Tripura cut VAT by up to Rs 2.5 per litre to effect a Rs 5 per litre reduction The reduction in excise duty, only the second in four years of BJPled NDA rule, will dent central government revenues by Rs 10,500 crore Oil marketing companies, which have been asked to shoulder a one rupee per litre reduction on fuel prices, will take a hit of upto Rs 9000 crores. ‘Fuel prices should be cut by ` 10’ BRENT CRUDE (IN $) 85.83 -0.46 A STAR IS BORN The Supreme Court Thursday cleared last minute hurdles leading to the first ever deportation of seven illegally migrated Rohingyas, staying in Assam, to Myanmar by dismissing a plea which sought to thwart the government’s move. Just after the court’s order, the authorities concerned deported the seven illegal immigrants, who had migrated to India in 2012. The court said that these Rohingyas were convicted by the competent court under the Foreigners Act and were held to be illegal immigrants. A bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and K M Joseph said that even the country of their origin Myanmar has identified them and accepted them as NEW DELHI, 4 OCTOBER Facing enquiry over charges of nepotism and conflict of interest, ICICI Bank managing director and CEO Chanda Kochhar Thursday quit the bank, six months before her current tenure was to end. Kochhar, 57, has also resigned from all subsidiaries of the bank including ICICI Securities where she had sought reappointment as the chairperson. The board elevated chief operating officer Sandeep Bakhshi as the new managing director and CEO for five years until 3 October, (SEE PAGE11) 2023. PTI Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived here on Thursday evening for the annual India-Russia summit which will see the two countries signing key defence, energy and trade deals worth billions of dollars. The Russian leader was warmly received at the airport by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj. "Welcome to India, President Putin. Looking forward to our deliberations, which will further enhance India-Russia friendship," Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted soon after Putin landed in New Delhi. The two leaders later went into a private meeting ahead of their summit-level talks on Friday. Sources said Modi and Putin discussed the agenda for the summit and reviewed bilateral ties as well as global developments. Putin is accompanied by a high-level delegation, which includes top business honchos of Russia. The Russian leader is look- ian defence hardware. The US is in a difficult position as it seeks to contain a growing China through better ties with India. The Kremlin said before Putin’s two-day visit that the "key feature" would be the signing of a $5-billion deal for the advanced S-400 air defence system. Modi and Putin, who appear to enjoy a personal rapport, are also likely to discuss a deal for four Krivak-class frigates worth $2 billion and 200 light utility Ka-226 helicopters pegged at $1 billion. The two leaders are also likely to discuss a possible second Russianbuilt nuclear power plant in India. Facial recognition biometric in airports soon DIGI-PORT P Digi Yatra is a biometrics-based digital processing system for passenger entry and related requirements at the airport and is ‘purely voluntary’ This initiative seeks to promote paperless and hassle-free air travel and would be operational by end of February 2019 Bengaluru, Hyderabad airports will have the facility by Feb 2019, Kolkata, some other airports by April pilot basis by the same time.The Airports Authority of India (AAI) plans to roll out the initiative at Kolkata, Varanasi, Pune and Vijayawada airports by April next year, as per the ministry. Under Digi Yatra, there would be a centralised regis- tration system for passengers and each of them would get a unique ID. The ID would be shared by passengers at the time of booking tickets. The ID can be created by sharing name, email id, mobile number and details of any identity proof, including Aadhaar. Before travel, the airline would share the passenger data and the ID with the airport from where the passenger would be flying out. There would be one-time verification at the departure airport while travelling for the first time using the ID. After successful verification, facial biometric recognition would be captured and stored in the Digi Yatra ID. A registered passenger can go to the e-gate of the airport and scan the bar code/ QR code of the ticket. The system would also generate a token combining the face of passenger with PNR of the ticket, so that at subsequent check points the ticket details would be available on face recognition. Civil aviation secretary R N Choubey said e-gates would replace“all human interface points except at the point of security check. The physical SNS & AGENCIES West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday demanded that the Centre should slash fuel prices by Rs 10 per litre at least and also withdraw the cess on petroleum products. Banerjee was reacting to the Centre's announcement of a Rs 2.50-per-litre cut in petrol and diesel prices by reducing the excise duty by Rs 1.50 a litre and asking oil companies to absorb another Re 1. “The Central government should slash fuel prices by Rs 10 at PTI least.” TURN TO PAGE 4 ing to tie up mega arms deals with India, including the S400 missile defence systems pact, that is likely to upset the United States. Washington has been asking India to avoid sewing up the missile deal as that could attract sanctions against Indian entities under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA). However, India has made clear to the US its intention to buy missile defence systems in view of its security needs in a volatile region. New Delhi has also impressed on Washington the necessity to keep the missile deal out of the sanctions’ regime because of India’s dependence on Russ- Seven Rohingyas deported to Myanmar as SC dismisses plea NEW DELHI, 4 OCTOBER NEW DELHI, 4 OCTOBER STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE Indian cricket has a new star after Prithvi Shaw became the country's youngest batsman to score a century on debut during Thursday's Test against the West Indies. Shaw, who is just over a month shy of 19, reached his hundred off just 99 deliveries during a 206-run second (P16) wicket partnership with Cheteshwar Pujara (86) in the afternoon session of day one. AFP SILIGURI (WB), 4 OCTOBER Putin arrives for summit with Modi Travellers will soon be able to enter airports in the country with facial recognition biometric under the government’s Digi Yatra initiative. Civil aviation minister Suresh Prabhu said the initiative would be“forward-looking and futuristic” and would be launched soon. He said facial recognition biometric feature would be optional for air passengers. DigiYatra initiative seeks to promote paperless and hassle-free air travel. It is a biometrics-based digital processing system for passenger entry and related requirements at the airport. The Digi Yatra central platform would be operational by end of February 2019. Bengaluru and Hyderabad airports would be ready for Digi Yatra implementation on SILVER 38,600.00 -100.00 WELCOME RELIEF Kochhar quits ICICI, passes on baton to Bakhshi NEW DELHI, 4 OCTOBER P15 P13 All-time high petrol, diesel prices force Modi govt's hand Min. 38% SNS & PTI MAESTRO MESSI SINKS TOTTENHAM security check will remain.” Passengers would not have to pay for this facility, he said, adding that the ministry plans to roll out Digi Yatra at all airports in a phased manner. A not-for-profit company would be set up with the AAI and private airport operators as stakeholders. The enrolment for Digi Yatra would be done by this company. Minister of state for civil aviation Jayant Sinha said data privacy would be ensured with respect to Digi Yatra and made it clear that there would not be any profiling of passengers. After completion of a trip by a passenger, the particular transaction details are purged from the system, he noted. Through Digi Yatra, the ministry said, airports would have the possibility of providing innovative services and consent-based targeted services in future. The top court said that these Rohingyas were convicted by the competent court under the Foreigners Act and were held to be illegal immigrants its citizens. “Having considered the prayer, we would not like to interfere with the decision taken. The petition is dismissed,” the bench said. The bench rejected the plea made by one of the Rohingyas, who had filed an application seeking to restrain the Centre from deporting to Myanmar the seven Rohingyas lodged in a detention centre at Silchar in Assam. Those deported were Md Jamal, Mohbul Khan, Jamal Hussain, MdYonus, Sabir Ahmed, Rahim Uddin and Md Salam, all in the 26-32 year age bracket. The court took the case as first matter after advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for petitioner Jaffarullah, informed the court that it is an urgent issue as the Rohingyas were taken to the Indo-Myanmar border from where they will be deported. During the hearing, additional solicitor general Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre said that after the conviction, the Rohingyas were sent to a detention centre and the government had contacted the Myanmar embassy for their identification. “Following the verification, Myanmar government issued a certificate of identity to the seven Rohingyas along with one month visa to facilitate their deportation,” he said.
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