CMYK MONDAY www.thestatesman.com 10 SEPTEMBER 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 P6 WEATHER Partly cloudy with rain/thundershower likely. Max-min temperature will be around 35-27 degree celsius, respectively. RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY P7 SERENA INSISTS SHE IS NOT A ‘CHEAT’ P15 P12 Petrol and diesel Modi sets tone for LS prices scale new highs polls at BJP meet on fall in rupee rate PM gives slogan ‘Ajey Bharat, Atal Bhajapa', sees no challenge from Opp Max.94% Min. 52% Max: 34.2°C (+2) SUN RISES 05:22 hrs MOON RISES 05.42 hrs Min: 26.6°C (+1) SUN SETS 17:46 hrs MOON SETS 18:26 hrs TEMPERATURE BHANUSINGHA REBORN IMRAN HAS A LONG AND ROCKY ROAD AHEAD SPY POISONING First quarter of moon on 20 September THUMBNAILS BJYM activists during a road blockade protest against collapse of bridges. At Howrah Bridge in Kolkata on Sunday. DILIP DUTTA IPS officer dies after battling for life for four days; suicide suspected: A 30-year old IPS officer, who had reportedly consumed some poisonous substance, died on Sunday at a nursing home in Kanpur after battling for life for four days. Surendra Kumar Das, an officer of the 2014 batch, was posted as Superintendent of Police (East) in the city. A “suicide” note recovered from the scene of the incident mentioned “family issues” as the reason behind the extreme step. Dr Rajesh Agarwal of the nursing home had on Saturday said many organs of the officer's body had stopped functioning. He was on life support in the P5 Intensive Care Unit. Manipuri terror outfit activist arrested: The Special Task Force (STF) of Kolkata police arrested a terror activist allegedly belong to a banned Manipuri terror outfit from the bus stand at Esplanade late Saturday night. A 9 mm pistol, two 7 mm pistols along with some ammunition were seized from him. The arrested person was identified as Amon Nelson Singh alias Chingkehi Khuman alias Mahekhomba Metel (28) . He was said to be chairman of a banned terror organisation “Kangleipak Communist Party” (KCP) of Manipur. Nelson was arrested in a case filed by the STF in connection with a criminal conspiracy for carrying, acquiring, and possessing illegal firearms. P13 Trains to Puri: The Railways has decided to cancel or short-terminate several long distance trains to Puri in Odisha for nearly a fortnight from September 12 to undertake massive modernisation work at the temple town terminal station. It, however, said that trains like 12837/12838 Howrah-Puri-Howrah Express, 12287/12288 Dhauli Express, 18409/18410 Sri Jagannath Express, 12875/12876 Puri-Anand Bihar-Puri Neelachal Express and 12801/12802 Puri-New Delhi-Puri Purushottam Express will continue to ply as usual, but may involve delay in departure and arrival. “Railways is planning a massive overhaul and modification at Puri railway yard.’’ PRESS TRUST OF INDIA SNS & PTI NEW DELHI, 9 SEPTEMBER NEW DELHI, 9 SEPTEMBER Petrol and diesel prices set new records on Sunday as they continued their upward march on fall in rupee and surge in global crude oil rates. Petrol price was on Sunday raised by 12 paise a litre and diesel by 10 paise per litre, according to the price notification issued by state fuel retailers. The increase pushed the petrol price in Delhi to Rs 80.50 per litre. Diesel rate touched its highest level of Rs 72.61 a litre. Fuel prices in Delhi are the cheapest among all metros and most state capitals due to lower taxes. Opposition parties have called for a nation-wide 'Bharat Bandh' on Monday (September 10) to protest against the spiralling fuel prices. They blame the government's unwillingness to cut excise duty for the high fuel prices and consumer burden. Since mid-August, petrol price has risen by Rs 3.42 a litre and diesel by Rs 3.84 per litre as rupee hit record low against the US dollar, making imports costlier. Almost half of the retail selling price of the two fuels is made up of central and state taxes. According to oil companies, petrol at refinery rate costs around Rs 40.50 a litre and diesel Rs 43. The Centre currently levies a total excise duty of Rs 19.48 per litre of petrol and Rs 15.33 per litre on diesel. On top of this, states levy Value Added Tax (VAT) -- the lowest being in Andaman and Nicobar Islands where 6 per cent sales tax is charged on both the fuels. Mumbai has the highest VAT of 39.12 per cent on petrol, while Telangana levies the highest VAT of 26 per cent on diesel. Delhi charges a VAT of 27 per cent on petrol and 17.24 per cent on diesel. The Central government had raised excise duty on petrol by Rs 11.77 a litre and that on diesel by 13.47 a litre in nine installments between November 2014 and January 2016 to shore up finances as global oil prices fell, but then cut the tax just once in October last year by Rs 2 a litre. This led to its excise collections from petro goods more than doubling in the last four years -- etting the tone for the 2019 Lok Sabha election, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Sunday he sees “no challenge” to the BJP and described unity efforts among Opposition parties “unable to stand each other” as a proof of his government's popularity and his party's big success. Giving the slogan of 'Ajey Bharat,Atal Bhajapa' (Invincible India, firm BJP), he exuded confidence that his party will win in 2019. “We have started our journey with confidence of victory. We enjoy the confidence of 125 crore people of India.” In his concluding address at the party's twoday national executive meeting, Modi also heaped scorn on Congress president Rahul Gandhi, saying his party's leadership is not acceptable to any ally, is seen as a burden by some others and is not acceptable to a few within his own party. The Opposition has neither ideology nor a leader and any coordination, with its policies being unclear and intentions corrupt, Modi said, according to Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, who briefed the media on the speech in the closed-door meeting. “We do not see any challenge,” he said, lashing out at the Opposition over its allegations based on “falsehoods and lies” against his S Rajasthan govt cuts VAT PRESS TRUST OF INDIA JAIPUR, 9 SEPTEMBER Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje announced a four-per cent reduction in valueadded tax (VAT) on petrol and diesel on Sunday, which will reduce their prices by Rs 2.5 per litre in the state. VAT on petrol will be reduced from 30 to 26 per cent and on diesel from 22 to 18 per cent, Raje announced at a public meeting organised at Rawatsar in Hanumangarh district as part of her 'Rajasthan Gaurav Yatra'. The decision will from Rs 99,184 crore in 2014-15 to Rs 2,29,019 crore in 2017-18. States saw their VAT revenue from petro goods rise from Rs 1,37,157 crore in 2014-15 to Rs 1,84,091 crore in 2017-18. Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said the state government was working on various proposals to give relief to the people from the rising fuel prices. Talking to PTI, Fadnavis also said bringing petroleum products under Goods and Services Tax (GST) was one of the ways of reducing the prices. “The state government is working on various proposals to reduce the prices of fuel in the state,” he said without elaborating on the measures. “The best way to control fuel price is to bring it under GST. If the GST Council moves this proposal, then Maharashtra will support it,” Fadnavis added. Taking a dig at the Opposition, Fadnavis said the NDA government reduced the petrol prices 13 times in the first three years. “They know that oil prices are dependent on the international markets. This government reduced the cost the exchequer Rs 2,000 crore and will provide the people a relief of Rs 2.5 per litre on petrol and diesel. “We have decided to reduce VAT on diesel and petrol by 4 per cent, which will provide much-needed relief to the people of the state, be it farmers or women or others,” Raje told reporters. price of petrol 13 times in the first three years. Now, international prices of crude oil have skyrocketed,” he said. He added that if the Opposition is so concerned about the high fuel prices, it should announce in the states ruled by the Congress or their alliance partners that there would be no tax on petrol and diesel. “But they will not do so, because this is all politically motivated,” Fadnavis said. The chief minister also slammed the Opposition over its call for 'Bharat Bandh' on Monday over the issue. The Samajwadi Party will undertake a statewide demonstration on Monday to protest against the rising prices of petroleum products. Senior SP leader Rajendra Chaudhary said on Sunday that on the directives of party president Akhilesh Yadav, party workers would be holding demonstrations in all the districts and tehsils in the state to highlight the plight of farmers, spiralling prices of petroleum products, inflation, poor law and order, rising corruption and atrocities on students and youngsters. government. When they were in power they were a failure, and they are a failure even in Opposition, he said. Slamming rival parties, he said they cannot see eye to eye and never stand each other but have been forced to embrace one another to challenge the BJP . It shows the government's popularity and acceptance of its programmes and leadership by the people, he said. He said his government has lived up to the slogan of 'sabka saath,sabka vikas' by bringing development to all without any consideration of caste, religion or region. Mocking Rahul Gandhi without naming him, Modi said nobody, including small parties, is ready to accept the Congress's leadership. “Some even consider it a burden. There are some within it (Congress) who are not in a position to accept the leadership,” he said. The Opposition has not challenged the government on issues or its policies and ideology, but manufacture lies everyday and keeps repeating it, he said, apparently in reference to its attack on him over issues of corruption in the Rafale deal and demonetisation among others. If issues are debated, then the question will come as to what “one family” did for 48 years and what his government had done in 48 months, Modi said, targeting the Congress's Gandhi family. He asked the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) workers to “unmask” the Congress with facts and logic. On a day BJP president Amit Shah claimed that his party would rule for 50 years on the basis of its performance once it comes to power in 2019, Modi like Shah also cited the example of Gujarat where it has had an almost uninterrupted reign for 31 years. Modi said unlike other parties, the BJP has neither arrogance of power nor does it see government as a chair to grab by all means but uses it as an instrument to empower people. “We work to fulfil our principles to which we remain firm. Our strategy may change from time to Kerala nun found dead inside well of convent SNS & PTI KOLLAM, 9 SEPTEMBER A 55-year-old nun was found dead on Sunday inside the well of Mount Tabor Dayara Convent at Pathanapuram, more than 75 km from the state capital, police said. The body of Sister Susan, a teacher at St Stephens School attached to the convent, was found floating in the well at the sprawling compound this morning. A senior police officer told PTI that the body had “self-inflicted” injuries on both hands. “There were self-inflict- Police said that the nun’s body had selfinflicted injuries on both hands. Cops are waiting for the post mortem report ed injuries on her wrists. The left cut was more severe and deep. The injury on the right wrist was comparatively small,” the officer said. He said more details would be available after the post mortem report comes. The nun belonged to the Malankara Syrian Orthodox church. Other inmates of the convent first came across blood stains near the well and then found her body floating by 9 am. Blood stains were also found insider her room, nearly 50 metres away from the well. Police and fire department personnel rushed to the spot, pulled the body out and carried out an inquest at the scene. A case of unnatural death was registered and the body was sent for postmortem to Government Medical College in Thiruvananthapuram, the officer said. Congress calls for peace during today’s bandh SNS & PTI NEW DELHI, 9 SEPTEMBER The Opposition Congress, which has called for a nationwide shut down on Monday over rising fuel prices and depreciation of the rupee, has appealed to party workers to maintain peace and not to associate with any violent protests. It said 21 Opposition parties are supporting the Bharat bandh, besides a number of chambers of commerce and traders' associations. The party demanded that petrol and diesel should be brought under GST, by which oil prices could drop by about Rs 15 to Rs 18. “I appeal to all Congress workers to make the bandh violence-free. We are Mahatma Gandhi's party and we should not associate ourselves with any violence,” Congress spokesperson Ajay Maken said at a media briefing. Petrol and diesel prices set new records Sunday. According to the price notification issued by state fuel retailers, petrol price was raised by 12 paise a litre and diesel by ?10 paise per litre on Sunday. Holding the BJP government responsible for the rise in petrol and diesel prices, Maken alleged that it kept on raising excise duty on fuel even as international crude oil prices have come down. “Between 2014 and now, excise duty on petrol has risen by 211.7 per cent and 433 per cent on diesel. The excise duty on petrol was Rs 9.2 per litre in 2014 and it has gone up to Rs 19.48 per litre. Similarly, the excise duty on diesel was Rs 3.46 per litre and today it stands at Rs 15.33 per litre,” he said. The government has col- lected Rs 11 crore as excise duty by “burdening” people and “robbing them”, the Congress leader alleged. Maken said that he was “pained” to see that BJP's national executive meeting here remained silent on the rising crude oil price issue and has not held any discussions on inflation or rupee depreciation, matters which are directly linked with the common man. “I am pained that the meeting did not discuss a solution to these issues,” he said. Maken alleged the economic progress and GDP CMYK growth rate, which the UPA government maintained, has been squandered by the present dispensation. “During our rule, Narendra Modi criticised the rising oil prices saying it has gone into ICU. What would they say now?” he asked. Hitting out at the BJP for attacking the Congress with 'make in India breaking India' barb, Maken alleged the government has stalled the make in India initiative as 109 rafale jets could have been manufactured at Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, a PSU. He also said the government has not yielded to the opposition's demand for a Join Parliamentary Committee probe into the alleged irregularities in the Rafale deal. The West Bengal government has taken a slew of measures to maintain normal life and foil an opposition Congress and Left parties-called 'Bharat bandh' on Monday to protest high fuel prices and depreciation of the rupee. While the Congress has called the bandh for six hours from 9.00 am, the CPI(M)-led Left Front has called a 12-hour bandh starting from 6.00 am. Additional police personnel would be deployed throughout the state to ensure that there was no disruption or violence in connection with the bandh call. Opposition parties in Bihar on Sunday resolved to make tomorrow's 'Bharat Bandh', called by the Congress in protest against spiralling fuel prices, a “grand success”. Opposition leaders from Congress, RJD, HAM(S), Samajwadi Party, NCP held a joint press conference at Sadaquat Ashram - the Congress' state headquarter - and appealed to the various trade and industry bodies to make the bandh a grand success. time,” he said. Asking his party to bust the Opposition's “lies and falsehoods”, he said the Congress nationalised banks and mines claiming that it will help the poor and then changed track in the name of reforms. It is important to ask what benefits the poor got during the period, he said. The world, Modi said, is discussing policies of his government based on “sabka saath,sabka vikas” (With all, everybody's development). He spoke of the intensive drive to cover the poor households, especially in villages with high concentration of scheduled castes and tribes, with LPG connections, electricity and insurance cover among other welfare measures. Modi also mentioned the newly-launched health insurance scheme, Ayushman Bharat, that seek to cover over 10 crore poor families. On simultaneous polls, he said his government has already done “one nation, one tax”, a reference to the Goods and Services Tax, and “one nation, one power grid”, but is not for creating pressure on this issue. He wanted a debate in all sections of society on the issue of simultaneous polls, he said. Asked if issues such as the Opposition's allegation on the Rafale deal or the raging issue of rise in oil prices came up for discussion, Prasad answered in the negative. TN Cabinet decides to release all Rajiv convicts It was decided to recommend to Governor the release of Murugan, Santhan, Perarivalan, Jayakumar, Ravichandran, Robert Payas and Nalini, serving life imprisonment. CHENNAI, 9 SEPTEMBER The AIADMK government in Tamil Nadu on Sunday decided to recommend to the state Governor Banwarilal Purohit, the release of all seven life convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case. A resolution to this effect was adopted at the state Cabinet which met here under Chief Minister K Palaniswami's leadership, Fisheries Minister D Jayakumar told reporters. It decided to recommend to Governor Purohit, the release of Murugan, Santhan, Perarivalan, Jayakumar, Ravichandran, Robert Payas and Nalini, serving life imprisonment. The moves comes days after the Supreme Court asked the Governor to consider the mercy petition of Perarivalan seeking remission or pardon under Article 161 of the Constitution and disposed of the Centre's petition opposing the state government's earlier proposal for the release. The DMK welcomed the state’s recommendation for the release of the convicts , but its ally Congress differed, saying it will set a “wrong SNS/PTI precedent.”
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