BENGALURU SATURDAY DECEMBER 17, 2016 `5.00 PAGES 26 LATE CITY EDITION SINDHU HAS HER REVENGE, BEATS MARIN IN DUBAI In rematch of their Olympic summit clash earlier this year, Hyderabadi ace prevails over the former World No 1 Carolina Marin NO SPANISH LESSONS THIS TIME RISE & RISE OF SINDHU Coming into the Super Series Finals group contest, the Spaniard held a 5-3 head-to-head record over Sindhu, and played a typically fast-paced game. But it was not enough to unsettle Sindhu, who won 21-17, 21-13 to book her semifinal spot. ■ ■ ■ Ever since she won the Malaysia Masters in January this year, Sindhu has been on a roll. After the highs of Rio Games, she won the China Open, before finishing runner-up in Hong Kong. She is currently ranked tenth in the world. 46 MINUTES THE SINDHU-MARIN MATCH IN DUBAI LASTED. CHENNAI ■ MADURAI ■ VIJAYAWADA ■ BENGALURU ■ KOCHI ■ HYDERABAD ■ VISAKHAPATNAM ■ COIMBATORE ■ KOZHIKODE ■ THIRUVANANTHAPURAM ■ BELAGAVI ■ BHUBANESWAR ■ SHIVAMOGGA ■ TIRUCHY ■ TIRUPATI Opposition unity goes for a toss as Rahul meets PM Modi ACB raids on Nayak, four babus uncover `10cr assets EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Bengaluru Prime Minister Narendra Modi meeting with a delegation of Congress leaders led by party vice-president Rahul Gandhi in New Delhi on Friday | PTI Constitution bench to decide Five senior judges would decide whether notes ban is legal or if it violates fundamental rights, the Supreme Court said on Friday. Wether SC can interfere in economic policies will also be debated This is not a surgical strike on black money but it is firebombing of the 99 per cent of honest people of India. The impact is worse than that of an atom bomb Rahul Gandhi, Congress S A N T W A N A B H AT TA C H A R YA @ New Delhi THE 16-party opposition unity went for a toss after Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi met Prime Minister Narendra Modi with a group of senior Congress leaders in the age-old style of ‘prayer and petition’ , to urge him to consider giving loan-waiver to distressed farmers. At least, in the pollbound states of Uttar Pradesh and Punjab. Angry BSP SP Left, NCP and DMK , , pulled out of Sonia Gandhi-led protest march to Rashtrapati Bhawan on the government’s controversial demonetisation move and its impact on the people. Also, to blame the treasury for the winter session wash out. She led a down-sized opposition march with TMC, JD-U, RJD and RSP West Bengal . Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee who had come down from Kolkata to lead the first opposition protest to Rashtra- pati Bhawan in the early part of the session, in which the Congress and the Left did not join, quickly moved in to work on the divided lines. The TMC reached out to BSP and SP leaders post-march. “We told them, we understand their problem and appreciate the reason for which they pulled out-they have to fight elections in theirs State,’’ TMC MP Derek O’Brien said, adding that their party leader would have done it differently . WAY AHEAD: P11 No clue about black money in the country, says Arun Jaitley In a written reply to Lok Sabha, Finance Minister says the government has no official estimation of unaccounted wealth before or after the demonetisation E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ New Delhi For the BJP the country is bigger than party. For the Congress, party is more important than the country. They did nothing. But our first decision was to form an SIT PM Modi Withdrawal norms review after Dec 30 Finance Ministry said on Friday that the cap imposed on withdrawal from bank accounts post demonetisation would be reviewed after December 30, the last date for depositing of old currency notes with the banks ‘Indira Gandhi ignored demonetisation’ Modi levelled charges against his predecessor Dr Manmohan Singh and Indira Gandhi, of ignoring basic steps to fight corruption. Obvious and recommended methods include demonetisation, he told his party’s parliamentarians WHEN demonetisation of old `500 and `1,000 notes were announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in an hourlong address to the nation on November 8, he pegged it to be his big move in the fight against corrpution and black money. Following 38 days, till Friday, rhetorics were flying high on the need to weed out the evil of corruption and illicit hoarding of wealth. However, on Friday Finance Minister , Arun Jaitley made it clear that the government has no idea of the quantum of black money in circulation in the country “There is no official esti. mation of the amount of black money either before or after the government’s decision of November 8,” he said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha. Critics slammed Jaitley’s response, asking how the government could have embarked on the demonetisation drive, which inconvenienced millions of people, without even having an estimate of the amount of black money in the country . Hours after the Finance Minister’s admission, the government announced that the new window to disclose black money announced earlier, would open , on Saturday. Under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana launched last month, people can now declare their unaccounted money till March 31 by paying 50 per cent tax on the same. “All dots will be joined,” warned Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adia, adding that the bank accounts were being monitored and the defaulters would not be spared. Adia also asked people to email the government in case they had information about people hoarding black money . Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Rajnath Singh, Amit Shah, L K Advani and others during the BJP Parliamentary Party meeting at Parliament House in New Delhi on Friday | SHEKHAR YADAV NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant, meanwhile, said the cash crunch situation would end by mid-January This . is in contradiction to the statement by the Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das on Thursday when he said the situation would ease by first week of January. Independent analysis, based on printing capacity estimate Cash crunch to end by mid January, says Kant Cash shortages following the demonetisation of high value currency notes will end by mid- January, NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant said. Disruption was inevitable during such a big step of reforming the economy, he added the shortage to end only by March or April. The Prime Minister, meanwhile, told his party that the next crackdown would be on benami property holders. Modi followed it up by attacking the Congress and then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi for not having weeded out corruption in 1971. “For us, the country’s interests are always above the party’s. For Congress, party’s interests are above the country’s,” he said. Constitution bench: The Supreme Court, meanwhile, referred the issue of the validity of demonetisation decision to a five-judge constitution bench. The apex court, however, refused to tinker with the move to do away with the use of now-defunct high-value currency notes for public utilities, in gover nment hospitals and for rail tickets. Tata set for plant sale to scam-hit firm amid battle for group’s values `73,468 education cess expenditure unclear, says CAG J O N AT H A N A N A N D A @ Chennai CHENNAI: If you have been one of those paying the Secondary and Higher Education Cess (SHEC), then here’s some bad news for you. The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India stated that it was not “transparently ascertainable” if the funds were utilised towards the reason for the levy or even utilised at all. , The CAG stated in a report on Friday that while `73,468.52 crore was collected between 2006 - 2016, it was not clear if the funds were used. “It is observed that unlike the creation of Prarambhik Siksha Kosh in the case of primary/elementary education cess, neither a Fund was designated to deposit the proceeds of SHEC nor schemes were identified on which the cess proceeds were to be spent.” P8 EVEN as a battle for the “soul” and “values” of the Tata Group, rages on, a deal to sell a urea plant owned by Tata Chemicals to corruption tainted Norwegian group Yara International ASA is set to be consummated in a few months, subject to regulatory approvals. The deal, some say stands in stark , contrast to the publicly declared reasons from both sides for the ongoing tussle, since the urea business is subsidised by the Indian government. In August, when Cyrus Mistry was still in charge as chairman of Tata Sons and Tata Chemicals both, the latter announced that it would sell its only urea plant in Barbala, Uttar Pradesh, to Yara Fertilizers India Ltd, a 100 per cent subsidiary of Yara International ASA for `2,670 crore. The deal, it announced, would be completed within nine to 12 months. Yara International was already infamous for being the epicentre of Norway’s biggest corruption scandal. In 2011, four of Yara’s former officials, including former CEO Thorleif Enger, were slapped with charges for bribing (cumulatively amounting to $8 million) officials in India, Russia and Libya for the right to establish joint ventures. In January 2014, Yara “accepted guilt” and was fined 270 million Norwegian Kroner (`225 crore). While three of four convicted were acquitted on December 2 this year, the conviction against the fourth, a legal counsel, stands. The company has also not withdrawn its admission of guilt. Even as the CID is probing the role of suspended KAS officer L Bheema Nayak in alleged money laundering for mining baron G Janardhana Reddy, the state Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) on Friday raided his office and residence. The raids on Nayak’s office and residence were part of simultaneous raids that the agency conducted on five officials across the state. In a statement, the ACB said they uncovered movable and immovable properties worth `10 crore, disproportionate to their income. According to officials, the unaccounted wealth found during the raids on Nayak’s residence was worth `1.38 crore. Nayak was working as Special Land Acquisition Officer with Karnataka Housing Board (KHB) before his suspension. ACB officials, however, said the raids were neither linked to any action taken by I-T sleuths after demonetisation nor were they linked to the CID probe. The CID is probing Nayak in an alleged conversion of demonetised currency to help former minister Reddy after the official’s , driver mentioned it in his suicide note. The ACB registered a case against him for possession of disproportionate assets (DA). After receiving tip-off on officials owning assets disproportionate to their known sources of income, ACB registered cases under Prevention of Corruption Act and conducted simultaneous raids from early morning. During the ongoing searches, it was found that tainted officials owned benami assets like land, properties and vehicles in the name of their kin. In the case of Nayak, the anticorruption watchdog uncovered assets worth over `1.38 crore from the official’s premises in Belagavi, Ballari and Bengaluru. These include sites worth `40 lakh at Sadashivanagar in Belagavi and a house worth `60 lakh in Yelahanka New Town in Bengaluru. The value of gold jewellery and household items was valued at `15 lakh. DOCUMENTS, JEWELS SEIZED: P5 Crouching babus, hidden wealth D1.38cr L Bheema Nayak (special land acquisition officer) D3.22cr T R Shivaramu (executive engineer) D1.49cr Shivalingappa (assistant engineer) D1.95cr D Narasimha Murthy (range forest officer) D1.91cr H M Shivaprasad (veterinary health officer) EXPRESS READ Karuna undergoes tracheostomy, condition stable DMK president M Karunanidhi (92) underwent a tracheostomy procedure that addressed his difficulty in breathing, at the Kauvery Hospital at Alwarpet here. He was rushed to the hospital late on Thursday night after suffering from breathing problems. The next day, the hospital announced that he underwent tracheostomy. His condition was described as stable. He was on antibiotics and under treatment by a team of doctors. `2.21/litre hike in petrol prices With global oil prices going over $50-mark earlier, state-run Indian Oil Corp on Friday hiked fuel prices — of petrol by K2.21 a litre, and of diesel by K1.79 at Delhi, with corresponding increase in other states, effective midnight. The rates were last revised on December 1. CBI probes Paytm’s claim of fraud The CBI has registered an FIR following a complaint by digital wallet Paytm that it has allegedly been cheated of B6.15 lakh by customers based in New Delhi. CBI has registered FIR against 15 customers in New Delhi besides unknown officials of the parent company. P11 Chinese warship seizes US drone A Chinese Navy warship has seized an US underwater drone in international waters in the South China Sea, triggering a diplomatic protest from the US and a demand for its return, a US official said on Friday. The incident, the first of its kind in recent memory, took place on December 15.
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