THURSDAY 02 NOVEMBER 2023 www.thestatesman.com twitter.com/thestatesman facebook.com/thestatesman INDIA’S NATIONAL NEWSPAPER SINCE 1818 Pages 12 |` 5.00|LC KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR RAHUL MOCKS BJP ON OBC CHIEF MINISTER PROMISE GOP’S FUTURE P6 SENSEX 63,591.33283.60 WEATHER Generally cloudy sky. A few spells of Rain / Thundershowers very likely. Maximum and minimum temperatures likely to be around 32 °C and 24 °C respectively. RAINFALL: NIL RELATIVE HUMIDITY P5 ` vs $ 83.339 PAISE GOLD 61,530320 Min. 54 % Max: 32.4°C (+1) SUN RISES 05:41 hrs MOON RISES 19:47 hrs Min: 23.5°C (+1) SUN SETS 17:1 hrs MOON SETS 09:1 hrs New Moon on 13 November THUMBNAILS PM Narendra Modi interacts with para archer Sheetal Devi of India's Asian Para Games contingent at Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium on Wednesday. ANI (PG12) Record number of over 7.85 cr Income Tax Returns filed till 31 Oct this year: The Income Tax Department appreciated taxpayers and tax professionals for on-time compliance, resulting in a record number of filing of Income Tax Returns (ITRs) till October 31, 2023, said a press release by Central Board of Direct Taxes. KOLKATA, 1 NOVEMBER hether it is a dazzling day when the River Ganga is glowing golden or a rainy one when it shines silver, there is one person who will, at one point of the day, cross the Second Hoogly Bridge over the flowing waters to reach her office Nabanna, the state Secretariat and that is West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee. But as the Parliamentary elections draw near, we must focus away just from the river and see how Didi, as Banerjee is affectionately called, has been working in the jungles and the hills of her state too. And this is that story. “I will vote for Didi,” giggled a little girl in a village in Jangalmahal, “because she gives us rice.” I was on a reporting trip to the remote districts near the Bengal and Jharkhand border before the general elections. Though she was clearly too young to exercise W her franchise, her spontaneous outburst of appreciation was no doubt a revelation as to the extent to which West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s public distribution schemes for the poor people of the state have positively impacted their lives. From free food to subsidised education and healthcare, she has flushed the districts and towns with the goods. And interview after interview with the “grassroots” people of the state in the run up to the Parliamentary elections next year shows how Didi has done her homework about what the people of the land need and in the past decade that she has been in power she has proceeded to provide them that. So much so that, says a section of her supporters, she can easily rest on her laurels and let her work do the talking during elections except that she will not do that.“Mamata Banerjee works twenty-four seven and this is not just speaking metaphorically but literally too,” says Professor Om Prakash Mishra, former Trinamul Core Committee member who knows the unrelenting schedule that Didi follows. “Other than a few hours of the day when she has to rest she is perpetually doing something.” Which is why when much ado had been made about Didi’s return to the Secretariat yester- BRENT CRUDE (IN $) 87.42 Can Sri Lanka play party spoilers to India’s rampaging WC campaign? CM worked 24x7 last 50 days,say officials DOLA MITRA P12 SILVER 74,1001200 TRIDIB BAPARNASH MUMBAI, 1 NOVEMBER From free food to subsidised education, she has flushed the dists & towns with goods Max. 94 % TEMPERATURE P4 NIFTY 18,989.1590.45 PARIS MASTERS: ROMAN SAFIULLIN STUNS ALCARAZ ‘UNANIMOUS SUPPORT FOR MARATHA RESERVATION’ day after a hiatus of around fifty days, it was seen as misplaced hullabaloo. “See, Mamata Banerjee’s role as chief minister is to govern and guide and she has been doing that impeccably from her office and it is irrelevant whether it is from her home office or the Secretariat,” points out Dr. Mishra. “Because of a practical impediment which was an injury she sustained to her knee and because doctors advised her rest, that she did not go out. But she conducted all the business that required to be done and left nothing undone. In fact, as an academic and researcher myself who is familiar with intense work schedules I am simply amazed by Mamata’s ability to work tirelessly.” A former bureaucrat who had worked with the West Bengal chief minister said about Mamata: “I have never witnessed that kind of energy as far as work is concerned. She is not just a perfectionist herself but she expects others to be meticulous too.” It’s been 12 years but the memories of MS Dhoni wielding his stick for a straight six to script a memorable World Cup win in April 2011 final against Sri Lanka will hardly fade away from an Indian cricket fan’s mind. Come Thursday, a rampaging India will look to retain their unbeaten run in the ongoing ICC World Cup when they take on the Islanders at the same Wankhede Stadium here. “Given the current form only India can beat India,” quipped a former international cricketer. According to the former cricketer, going by current form, the other teams can only expect India to commit a mistake or become complacent and that is the only way the hosts can be defeated in this tournament. India will head into the game as the hot favorites, having triumphed in all six of their matches. In their last game against England, they set a challenging target of 229 runs, losing only 9 wickets. The Indian bowlers showcased exceptional skill, limiting England to a mere 129 runs and securing a con- vincing 100-run victory. As far as recent head to head records are concerned, the Rohit Sharma-led outfit has been dominant over the Islanders, with their most recent clash in the Asia Cup final resulting in a resounding 10-wicket victory for India, highlighting their dominance. On the other hand, still licking the wounds after the humiliation at the hands of Afghanistan, the Sri Lankan team is battling for survival in this tournament, and have managed to win only a couple of games so far. They will head into the game with nothing to lose unlike India, who will have huge exceptions. Having said that, Rohit Sharma & Co cannot afford to let their guards down as underestimating the Lankans could be very risky. The Islanders have all the ammunition to roar back in style. With four points from six outings, Sri Lanka are on the same boat as Pakistan and Netherlands. The situation is dire, but they aren't completely out of it yet. Mathematically, it's still possible that two teams finish on 12 or more points, and as many as seven teams end up on eight, fighting for two spots. That means Sri Lanka, who can still finish on 10 points, are in the mix, as are Pakistan and Netherlands. However, given how poorly they've played so far, and that two of their three remaining games are against India and New Zealand, the chances of them progressing are extremely slim. Star all-rounder Hardik Pandya is set to miss two more matches at the World Cup, against Sri Lanka and South Africa, as he continues to recover from an ankle injury he suffered against Bangladesh. Pandya has not played a match since 19 October. Mahua to appear before LS panel PM, Hasina inaugurate 3 development projects today, questions its mandate STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 1 NOVEMBER STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 1 NOVEMBER Trinamul Congress MP Mahua Moitra has informed Lok Sabha Ethics Committee Chairman Vinod Kumar Sonkar that she will “respect” the committee’s summons and appear before it on 2nd November, although she has questioned whether the Parliamentary committee has jurisdiction to go into allegations of criminality against her. In a letter to Mr Sonkar, she said she was surprised that her request to appear before the committee after 5 November due to her pre-fixed engagements was not accepted. She said the Privileges and Ethics Branch of the Lok Sabha had summoned BJP MP Ramesh Biduri on a complaint of hate speech against him by a member of the committee, Mr Danish Ali, on 10th October last, but did not insist on his attendance when he pleaded he was Over 97pc of `2k banknotes in circulation returned: RBI campaigning in Rajasthan. “No further date of his hearing has been given so far. I wish to place on record that these double-standards reek of political motives and do little to enhance the credibility of the Privileges and Ethics Branch,” Ms Moitra said. Raising the issue of jurisdiction of the committee to go into allegations of criminality, the Trinamul Congress MP wrote: “There is also the question whether the Ethics Committee is the appropriate forum to examine allegations of alleged criminality.” “This can only be done by law enforcement agencies. This check was specifically created by our nation’s founders to prevent even the slightest misuse of committees by governments enjoying brute majority in Parliament,” Ms Moitra pointed out. “In addition, if the Ethics Committee seeks a report from any department and wishes to rely on any such report (as per the Chairperson’s statement to the media), I should be given a copy of the report and allowed further to cross-examine the department concerned,” she wrote. In her letter to the Committee Chairman, Ms Moitra has demanded that she be allowed to cross-examine businessman Darshan Hiranandani and advocate Jai Anant Dehadrai who had made allegations of ‘cash for query’ against her. The MP said complainant Mr Dehadrai has “provided NO documentary evidence to back his allegations in either his written complaint and neither could be provide any evidence in his oral hearing. In keeping with the principles of natural justice, I wish to exercise my right to crossexamine Shri Dehadrai.” The MP wrote: “In light of the seriousness of the allegations, it is imperative that the alleged “bribe-giver” Shri Darshan Hiranandani, who has given a suo moto affidavit to the committee with scant details, and no documentary evidence whatsoever, be called to depose before the committee and provide the said evidence in the form of a documented itemised inventory with amounts, date etc.” “I wish to place on record that I am requesting the committee to answer in writing and place on record their decision to either allow or disallow such cross-examination,” Ms Moitra wrote. AGENCIES Prime Minister Narendra Modi listens to Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina during the joint inauguration of the three development projects between India and Bangladesh, via video conferencing, on Wednesday. ANI equitable, and sustainable future for the people of Bangladesh. Mr Modi noted that what India and Bangladesh have done in the last nine years has not been done in the past decades. “We have signed the longpending land boundary agreement to restore peace, security and stability in border areas...we have also resolved maritime boundary issues,” he said. The prime minister also spoke about the bus and train services launched between the two countries in the last nine years. Both the leaders spoke about the bilateral coopera- tion in the power and energy sectors. ''Our collaboration in the power sector and connectivity stands out as a shining example of our win-win cooperation,” Ms Hasina said. The Akhaura-Agartala Cross-Border Rail Link project has been executed under the Government of India's grant assistance of Rs 392.52 crore to Bangladesh. The length of the rail link is 12.24 km with a 6.78 km dual gauge rail line in Bangladesh and 5.46 km in Tripura. The Khulna-Mongla Port Rail Line project has been implemented under the Government of India's conces- sional Line of Credit with a total project cost of USD 388.92 million. The project entails construction of about 65 kms of broad gauge rail route between Mongla Port and the existing rail network in Khulna. With this, Mongla, the second largest port of Bangladesh, gets connected with the broadgauge railway network. The Maitree Super Thermal Power Project, under the Indian Concessional Financing scheme loan of USD 1.6 billion, is a 1,320 MW (2x660) Super Thermal Power Plant (MSTPP) located in Rampal in Khulna division of Bangladesh. Consumer spending booms amidst festivities, ‘Camera recording of breath-analyzer test mandatory for aircraft operators’ UPI transactions up by 40pc in Oct: Report STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 1 NOVEMBER AT ITS PEAK NEW DELHI, 1 NOVEMBER More than 97per cent of the total value of Rs 2000 banknotes in circulation, has been returned as of October 31, the Reserve Bank of India said in a statement on Wednesday. The total value of Rs 2000 banknotes which amounted to Rs 3.56 lakh crore as of the close of business on 19 May, 2023, when the withdrawal of Rs 2000 banknotes was announced, has declined to Rs 0.10 lakh crore as of the close of business on October 31, 2023, the Central Bank said. On 20 October, RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das expressed his confidence in Rs 2000 banknotes saying the remaining banknotes would be exchanged or deposited. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday jointly inaugurated via video conferencing three key connectivity and energy projects, with the Indian leader assuring full support to his counterpart for the success of her government’s ‘Smart Bangladesh’ initiative. The three projects built with Indian assistance are Akhaura-Agartala Cross-Border Rail Link; Khulna-Mongla Port Rail Line; and Unit-II of the Maitree Super Thermal Power Plant. The Smart Bangladesh initiative is aimed at transforming the country into a technologically advanced and sustainable society. Building on the foundation of the Digital Bangladesh initiative, Smart Bangladesh envisions the development of smart cities, smart agriculture, smart healthcare, smart education, smart energy, smart governance and smart institutions with the ultimate goal of creating a more prosperous, India’s consumer spending boomed during the festive season as sales at online platforms like Amazon and Flipkart was up by almost a fifth in the first week of the festive sales from a year ago, says a report. According to the report by RedSeer, transactions recorded by Unified Payments Interface (UPI) surged about 40 per cent in October from a year earlier. Sales are a key indicator of the health of consumption, which makes up about 60 per cent of India’s gross domestic product. Stronger spending helps to drive manufacturing activity in Asia’s third-largest economy and underpinning growth of more than 6 per cent in the current fiscal year. The report said online sales from Amazon, Flipkart Sales are a key indicator of the health of consumption, which makes up about 60 per cent of India’s gross domestic product. The report said online sales from Amazon, Flipkart and others reached $ 565 million till 15 October and others reached USD 565 million till 15 October. Mobile phones, electronic goods, and large appliances drove around 67per cent of the sales, it said. India’s key payment infrastructure, UPI, processed transactions worth Rs 16.46 trillion from 1 to 30 October , marking an increase of over 40 per cent from last year. Credit card payments also witnessed a jump of 16 per cent to Rs 1.42 trillion in September, data from the Reserve Bank of India shows. Manufacturing activity also showed a surge in activity during the festive season as the peak electricity demand surged to an all-time high of 240 gigawatts in September, topping the government’s forecasts. Factory floors are also buzzing with manufacturers adding more capacity to keep up with the strong demand. “Goods and Services Tax (GST) collection rose 10 per cent from a year earlier to Rs 1.6 trillion in September,” the report stated. The spending is expected to grow in the near future too as the festive season is expected to be followed by a robust wedding period. The spending is aided by the easy availability of credit and expectations of cooling inflation. CMYK STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 1 NOVEMBER Camera recording of breathanalyzer testing has been made compulsory for the aircraft operators engaged in seasonal pilgrimage operations and non-scheduled operators, aviation regulator Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) informed onWednesday. According to DGCA chief Vikram Dev Dutt, the aviation regulator revised the Civil Aviation Requirements (CAR) on procedure for medical examination of aircraft personnel for alcohol consumption with the objective of enhancing the safety of aircraft operations coupled with streamlining provisions of the existing regulations in line with feedback from industry and stakeholders from time to time for more effective implementation. Mentioning the modifications, Dutt said, “Camera recording of breath-analyzer testing has been made mandatory for the operators engaged in seasonal pilgrimage operations and non-scheduled operators and State Governments shall also ensure the compliance of this requirement at the base station and in cases where they are away from the base station for more than two days and operate a flight from there.” He said if any crew member/student pilot after reaching the airport feels that he/she is unable to discharge his fly- ing duties safely due to sickness, the crew member will intimate his company and in such case the breath-analyzer (BA) test shall not be conducted and same will not be considered as missed BA. However, the crew member/student pilot shall not be rostered for flying duties on that day and subsequently shall be rostered for flying duties after review by the company doctor.“Breath analyzer equipment with fuel cell technology has been made mandatory and a procedure for oversight and surveillance of calibration agencies has been introduced,” Mr Dutt said. The DGCA chief further said to prevent missed breath-analyzer cases, a provision has been introduced wherein the operating crew travelling as passengers shall undergo a breath-analyzer test at the boarding station in case of ramp-to-ramp transfer for operating flight.
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