TUESDAY www.thestatesman.com 20 NOVEMBER 2018 FIND US ONLINE Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 16 |` 5|LC KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR EUROPE MUST PREVENT POLITICAL CHAOS: MACRON THREAT OF IMPEACHMENT BIHAR TO BE DECLARED ODF NEXT YEAR: DY CM P6 SENSEX 35,774.88 +317.72 WEATHER Mainly clear sky. Mist in the morning. The maximum and minimum temperatures would be around 29 and 13 degrees Celsius respectively. RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max.91% TEMPERATURE Max: 28.2°C (0) SUN RISES 06:48 hrs MOON RISES 15:46 hrs Min. 45% NIFTY P8 10,763.40 +81.20 PRESS TRUST OF INDIA Min: 15.3°C (+3) SUN SETS 17:26 hrs MOON SETS 04:32 hrs THUMBNAILS Former CJI T S Thakur hands over the Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, Disarmament and Development for 2017 to ex-PM Manmohan (P5) Singh, in Delhi on Monday. SNS VVIP choppers case: A top Dubai court on Monday upheld a lower court's order to consider the possibility of extraditing British national and alleged middleman Christian Michel, who is wanted by Indian investigative agencies in the Rs 3,600 crore AgustaWestland VVIP choppers deal case, according to media reports. Michel, 54, is behind bars in Dubai since arrest. Amarinder points to Pak hand in Amritsar blast: The attack on Nirankari Bhawan in Amritsar in which three people were killed and over 20 injured is a case of “terrorism”, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said Monday. “The grenade attack at the Nirankari Bhawan seemed to carry Pakistan's signature, with initial investigations indicating that the grenade used was similar to the ones being manufactured by the Pakistani Army OrdiP5 nance factory,” Amarinder said. GOLD 30,966 +60.00 SILVER P15 36,928 MUMBAI, 19 NOVEMBER Ahead of the crucial RBI Board meeting, Congress president Rahul Gandhi Monday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of destroying institutions and hoped Reserve Bank Governor Urjit Patel has a“spine” and will show the prime minister “his place”. Taking to Twitter, Gandhi accused Modi and his “coterie of cronies” of destroying institutions. Mr Modi and his coterie of cronies, continue to destroy every institution they can get their hands on.Today, through his puppets at the RBI Board Meet he will attempt to destroy the RBI. I hope Mr Patel and his team have a spine and show him his place, he tweeted. The Congress has accused the Modi government of destroying every institution in the country and the latest one being the Reserve Bank of India. The RBI's crucial board meeting on Monday is expected to take up the liquidity crisis that has triggered a tiff between the government and the central bank. The meeting is being held in the background of tension between the Centre and the RBI after Finance Ministry cited the never-usedbefore Section 7 of the RBI Act which empowers the government to issue directions tothe RBI Governor. The government on November 9 had said it was dis- S cussing an“appropriate” size of capital reserves that the central bank must maintain but denied seeking a massive capital transfer from the RBI. Economic Affairs Secretary Subhash Chandra Garg had also clarified that the government wasn't in any dire needs of funds and that there was no proposal to ask the RBI to transfer Rs 3.6 lakh crore. BJP chief Amit Shah Monday trained his guns at the saffron party's political rivals, saying they were suffering from “Narendra Modi phobia”, and sought votes for the ruling party to throw “infiltrators” out of the country. Addressing a series of rallies ahead of the November 28 Assembly polls in Madhya Pradesh, where campaigning has picked up momentum, Shah said Congress president Rahul Gandhi was raising a hue and cry over the issue of identification of “infiltrators” in Assam, but ignoring the rights of martyrs. Speaking at Narsinghpur, he asked the Congress to give an account of what did the four generations of the Nehru-Gandhi family do when they ruled the country. STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE KOLKATA, 19 NOVEMBER Chandrababu Naidu and Mamata Banerjee during a meeting at Nabanna in Howrah on Monday. SNS against the BJP-led Central government. Mr Naidu invited Miss Banerjee at the conclave and said: “We wanted to meet on 22 November earlier. But we want to make it after the election is over and before Parliament (winter) session,” he told reporters. The fresh date for the meeting of non-BJP parties will be announced very soon, he added. “All those who are opposing the BJP and want to save the nation will join this meeting. We will discuss everything there and check out the programme that is to be done to take this momentum forward,” he said after the onehour long meeting. When asked who will be the face of the grand alliance in 2019, Miss Banerjee said: “everyone will be the face of the mahagathbandhan”, adding that all Opposition parties are “together” in the fight against the BJP . “We are discussing our future BRENT OIL (IN $) 71.47 0.50 Expert committee to be set up will now decide about the adequate size of capital base PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 19 NOVEMBER +438.00 RBI, govt signal truce; panel to look into disputed issues ignalling a temporary truce, the Reserve Bank and the government Monday agreed to refer to an expert committee the contentious issue of appropriate size of reserves that the RBI must hold, while restructuring of stressed loans of small businesses would be considered by the central bank. The setting up of the committee, whose members will be decided by the government and the RBI, followed a marathon ninehour long meeting of the central board that discussed threadbare issues that had brought the central bank and the Finance Ministry at loggerheads. “The Board decided to constitute an expert committee to examine the ECF , the membership and terms of reference of which will be jointly determined by the Government of India and the RBI,” the central bank said in a statement. Currently, the capital base of RBI is Rs 9.69 lakh crore, and independent director and Swadeshi ideologue S Gurumurthy and the finance ministry have been wanting it to be lowered in line with global practices. The expert committee to be set up will now decide about the adequate size of capital base. The central board head- Naidu calls for grand Opp alliance, BJP hits back Taking ahead his initiative to cobble together a coalition against the BJP in 2019 elections, Andhra Pradesh chief minister and TDP president N Chandrababu Naidu met Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee at Nabanna today and said that all the Opposition parties will join together to “protect the nation” as “democracy is in danger”. “I came here to meet Mamtaji as we have some responsibility to save the nation and democracy, which is in danger. Our bid to protect institutions like the CBI, ED, Income Tax department, RBI and CAG that are under “severe pressure” arises from a democratic compulsion. We have to join together,” said Mr Naidu, who has called for an “anti-BJP mahagathbandhan”. Mr Naidu announced postponement of the 22 November Opposition conclave in Delhi to chalk out the future course of action for the proposed “mahagathbandhan” P13 ` vs $ 71.92 Rahul attacks govt, asks RBI to checkmate PM ZVEREV SHOCKS DJOKOVIC TO WIN ATP FINALS plan of action for the sake of the country's interest. We can tell one thing that we are together, we are speaking together and we are working against the BJP to save the nation,” Miss Banerjee said. According to Mr Naidu there is “intolerance” towards minorities in the country. “Demonetisation has been a big farce. Growth has become stagnant. Petrol and diesel prices are increasing. There is inflation, economy is at a standstill, unemployment is a problem and agriculture is in doldrums. There is intolerance towards minorities which is another problem. Politicians are under threat and they are being victimised. So we have to protect this great nation.” The TDP chief said that his discussion with Miss Banerjee was “very good”. Miss Banerjee has been fighting against the BJP since the beginning, he said. He confirmed his presence at the 19 January 2019 rally called by Miss Banerjee at Brigade Parade Ground. TURN TO PAGE 6 ed by RBI Governor Urjit Patel, which met amid the on-going tussle between the Finance Ministry and the central bank over various issues, discussed the Basel regulatory capital framework, a restructuring scheme for stressed MSMEs, bank health under Prompt Corrective Action (PCA) framework and the Economic Capital Framework (ECF). Patel and his deputies came face to face with government nominee directors -- Economic Affairs Secretary Subhash Chandra Garg and Financial Services Secretary Rajiv Kumar -- and independent members like S Gurumurthy to arrive at a middle ground on some of the contentious issues. According to sources, no voting on any proposal took place and a detailed presentation was made by Deputy Governor N S Vishwanathan to the board. Vishwanathan is the incharge of banking regulation and supervision. The Board also advised that the RBI should consider a scheme for restructuring of stressed standard assets of MSME borrowers with aggregate credit facilities of up to Rs 25 crore, subject to such conditions as are necessary for ensuring financial stability. Most of the RBI's 10 independent directors, including Tata Sons Chairman N Chandrasekaran, attended the meeting that had drawn intense media and market attention. With regard to banks under Prompt Corrective Action (PCA), it was decided that the matter will be examined by the Board for Financial Supervision (BFS) of the RBI. Of the 21 state-owned banks, 11 are under the PCA framework, which imposes lending and other restrictions on weak lenders. These are Allahabad Bank, United Bank of India, Corporation Bank, IDBI Bank, UCO Bank, Bank of India, Central Bank of India, Indian Overseas Bank, Oriental Bank of Commerce, Dena Bank and Bank of Maharashtra. The PCA framework kicks in when banks breach any of the three key regulatory trigger points -namely capital to risk weighted assets ratio, net non-performing assets (NPA) and return on assets (RoA). Globally, PCA kicks in only when banks slip on a single parameter of capital adequacy ratio, and the government is in favour of this practice being adopted for the domestic banking sector as well. The Board, while deciding to retain the capital adequacy ratio or CRAR at 9 per cent, agreed to extend the transition period for implementing the last tranche of 0.625 per cent under the Capital Conservation Buffer (CCB), by one year, that is up to March 31, 2020. CCB currently stands at 1.875 per cent and remaining 0.625 per cent was to be met by March 2019, as per the deadline fixed by the RBI. According to sources, the next meeting of central board of the RBI is scheduled to be held on December 14. Amid growing tensions with the central bank, the Finance Ministry had sought discussions under the never-used-before Section 7 of the RBI Act which empowers the government to issue directions to the RBI Governor. RBI Deputy Governor Viral Acharya had in a speech last month talked about the independence of the central bank, arguing that any compromise could CBI strife turns murkier, officer drags big names SNS & PTI NEW DELHI, 19 NOVEMBER The raging strife within the country's premier investigating agency CBI has turned murkier with a senior agency officer Manish Kumar Sinha, an IPS officer of the DIG rank, today levelling accusations against Union minister Haribhai Parthibhai Chaudhary, National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval, Chief Vigilance Commissioner K V Chowdary, and Union Law Secretary Suresh Chandra over their alleged bids to interfere in the agency investigation against CBI special director Rakesh Asthana. Both CBI director Alok Verma and his number two Asthana were stripped of their charge and sent on compulsory leave by the central government last month following their war and trading of corruption allegations.The CBI has also filed an FIR against Asthana on graft charges. Sinha ~ who was probing the FIR against Asthana and other important cases like the PNB scam involving Nirav Modi ~ made a series of sensational allegations in his petition before the Supreme Court today that sought urgent hearing for quashing his transfer to Nagpur. He charged that he was taken out from the Asthana probe team and was transferred to Nagpur. “The transfer is arbitrary, motivated and malafide, and was made solely with the purpose and intent to victimise the officer as the investigation revealed cogent evidence against certain powerful persons,” he alleged. Sinha's counsel Sunil Fernandes informed a three-judge Bench, headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, that his client has “got some shocking revelations” in his petition and sought urgent listing and hearing tomorrow along with the plea of the benched CBI chief. “Nothing shocks us,” the Bench, also comprising Justice S K Kaul and Justice K M Joseph, replied, as it ruled out urgent hearing and asked Fernandes to be present in the court when it will hear Verma's plea challenging the government's decision to divest him of duties and sending him on leave. In his 34-page petition, Sinha alleged that Verma had briefed Doval on 17 October about registration of a case against Asthana.“Subsequently on the same night, it was informed that the NSA has informed Rakesh Asthana about registration of the FIR. It was informed that Rakesh Asthana reportedly made a request to the NSA that he should not be arrested,” the petition stated. Sinha, while supporting the affidavit of the agency DSP A K Bassi ~ who has been transferred to Andaman and Nicobar Islands ~ claimed Bassi favoured immediate search of public servants involved in the bribery case against Asthana but the“Director CBI did not give immediate permission and reverted that the NSA has not permitted the same”. SABARIMALA/ NEW DELHI, 19 NOVEMBER Activists of the BJP Yuva Mor, cha and other right-wing outfits Monday stepped up protests across Kerala against the late night police crackdown at the Sabarimala Ayyappa temple complex and the subsequent detention of 69 people. In a strong reprimand, Kerala High Court expressed its displeasure over the manner in which Ayyappa devotees were dealt with by the police at the “Sannidhanam” (tem- ple complex). Given the tense situation, there was a dip in arrivals at the shrine which is visited by lakhs of pilgrims during the annual pilgrimage season. As a war of words erupted over the police action, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan maintained that those who had been arrested were not Ayyappa devotees, but RSS workers camping at Sannidhanam (temple complex). Asserting that his government was with the devotees, Vijayan said it was being targeted for trying to implement the Supreme Court order per- mitting entry of all women into the shrine. Union minister Alphons Kannanthanam, on a visit to Nilackal, Pamba and Sannidhanam to take stock of the various facilities at the hill shrine, lashed out at the state goverment, saying the temple complex had been turned into a “war zone” and devotees were being treated as “dacoits”. Citing lack of basic amenities, the Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB), which manages the temple, moved the Supreme Court seeking more time to implement its September 28 verdict allowing Activists protest following the arrest of devotees at Sabarimala temple in Kochi on Monday. AFP women of all age groups to pray at the hill shrine. The TDB move came amid the stand-off over entry of women in the 10-50 age group, traditionally barred at the shrine. The day also saw three young women expressing their desire to visit the holy shrine, but in a “friendly atmosphere”. Reshma Nishant and Anila from Kannur district and Dhanya from Kollam district said they had been observing the “vritham” (the mandatory austerities for visiting Sabarimala) for visiting the shrine. Since the September 28 top court verdict, no women in the 10-50 age group has succeeded in offering prayers at the shrine, where the deity is “Naishtika Brahmachari” (perennial celebate). About a dozen women, Nissan chief arrested over ‘financial misconduct’ TOKYO, 19 NOVEMBER including social activist, Trupti Desai, had made futile efforts to go to Sabarimala. A division bench of the Kerala High court, comprising Justices P R Ramachandra Menon and N Anil Kumar, reprimanded police for acting against the devotees and warned of stringent action if such incidents were repeated. Sixty-nine people, picked up from the temple complex early Monday and subsequently arrested, were produced before a court here this evening and remanded to 14 days judicial custody. Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn, one of the world's best-known businessmen, was reportedly under arrest in Japan on Monday in a shocking fall from grace linked to allegations of financial misconduct. Japan's public broadcaster NHK and other media outlets said Ghosn had been arrested after being questioned by Japanese prosecutors for various improprieties including underreporting his income. Nissan said it had been investigating its chairman for months and would now move to fire him. The news sent shockwaves through the auto industry, where Ghosn is a towering figure who is credited with turning around several major manufacturers and leads an alliance of Nissan, Renault and Mitsubishi. “The Tokyo District Public Prosecutor's Office arrested Nissan chairman Ghosn on suspicion of violation of the Financial Instruments and Exchange Act,” NHK said. In a statement, Nissan said it had been conducting a probe into Ghosn for several months after receiving a whistleblower report and had uncovered misconduct going back several years. The Tokyo prosecutor's office had no comment on the reports about Ghosn. Mitsubishi also declined comment. AGENCIES SEE ALSO PAGE 10 SEE ALSO PAGE 12 TURN TO PAGE 6 Sabarimala stand-off: 69 remanded, HC raps cops o SNS & PTI be “potentially catastrophic” for the economy. In his first public comments since the spat between the RBI and the Finance Ministry came out in the open, Gurumurthy had last week said the stand-off “is not a happy thing at all”. Gurumurthy, who was appointed to the board of RBI a few months back, had said the capital adequacy ratio prescribed in India is 1 per cent higher than the global Basel norms. He also pitched for easing lending norms for small and medium enterprises, which account for 50 per cent of the country's GDP . The Reserve Bank said it will inject Rs 8,000 crore into the system through purchase of government securities on November 22. “Based on an assessment of prevailing liquidity conditions and also of the durable liquidity needs going forward, the RBI has decided to conduct purchase of the following government securities under Open Market Operations for an aggregate amount of Rs 80 billion on November 22, 2018 (Thursday)...,” it said in a statement. The OMO operation will help ease tight liquidity situation triggered by series of default by group companies of IL&FS. The eligible participants should submit their offers in electronic format on the Reserve Bank of India Core Banking Solution (E-Kuber) system on November 22.
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