PLUS 12 PAGES MAGAZINE HUBBALLI SUNDAY OCTOBER 21, 2018 `7.00 PAGES 26 CITY EDITION MASTER OF SCALE AND COLOUR AFTERNOON SLUMP? BLAME IT ON YOUR DIET Paresh Maity’s painting Dandi March, a tribute to the Mahatma’s 150th birth anniversary, is on display at the Art Alive Gallery Make clever choices with a judicious mix of wholesome foods like fruits, vegetables and nuts to fight sleepy afternoons GO AH! North Goa may not have the kind of beaches seen in the south, but it has enough sights that will make you fall in love with the place COVER STORY INDIA ON BOARD The humble board game is back in new avatars — stylishly strategic and mind-bogglingly addictive. Sensing its growing popularity, cafe owners and entrepreneurs are dishing out exciting board games along with their edible fares EXCLUSIVE VOICES Shankkar Aiyar T J S George ■ Pradip Phanjoubam ■ ■ CHENNAI ■ MADURAI ■ VIJAYAWADA ■ BENGALURU ■ KOCHI ■ HYDERABAD ■ VISAKHAPATNAM ■ COIMBATORE ■ KOZHIKODE ■ THIRUVANANTHAPURAM ■ BELAGAVI ■ BHUBANESWAR ■ SHIVAMOGGA ■ MANGALURU ■ TIRUPATI ■ TIRUCHY ■ TIRUNELVELI ■ SAMBALPUR ■ HUBBALLI ■ DHARMAPURI ■ KOTTAYAM ■ KANNUR ■ VILLUPURAM ■ KOLLAM ■ WARANGAL ■ TADEPALLIGUDEM ■ NAGAPATTINAM ■ THRISSUR ■ KALABURAGI MUDRA LOANS GAINING POPULARITY, BUT NPAS HIGH Biggest loan defaults Loans under Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana are granted under three categories — up to J50,000 come under the ‘Shishu’ category, between J50,001 and J5 lakh under ‘Kishore’ and between J5,00,001 and J10 lakh under ‘Tarun’. Most defaulters are those who have taken loans up to J50,000 NPA ACCOUNTS 12,23,13,936 TOTAL 13,85,610 13,47,00,699 1,04,26,696 9,51,468 SHISHU INTERVIEW 19,60,067 3,89,157 KISHORE Bad loan 44,985 TARUN Loan sanctioned K U M A R V I K R A M @ New Delhi AMONG the welfare programmes the government touts as a success story is the Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana, a financial initiative to provide loans to microunits to help them develop their business and generate employment. Interacting with Mudra beneficiaries in May this year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said that the scheme had fulfilled people’s dreams of setting up small businesses and generating jobs for others. Similarly, talking at an event last year, BJP president Amit Shah said 7.28 crore people had become self-employed under the Centre’s Mudra loan scheme in the past three years. But what is left unsaid is that nearly `11,000 crore loan given to 13.85 lakh account holders have turned into bad loan, a Right to Information application by The New Sunday Express has for the first time revealed. The PMMY was launched on April 8, 2015. Under the scheme, banks are required to finance micro-entrepreneurs with loan requirement up to `10 lakh. Loans are granted under three categories — up to `50,000 come under the ‘Shishu’ category, between `50,001 and `5 lakh under ‘Kishore’ and between `5,00,001 and `10 lakh under ‘Tarun.’ About 13.47 crore account holders have been sanctioned loan amounting to more than `6.37 lakh crore as on August 3 this year, the RTI revealed. But the data has also disclosed that `10,915.07 crore worth of loan has turned into NPA and the highest number of defaulters are those who have taken loan under the Shishu category, or taken loan up to `50,000. While experts do not question the objective of the Mudra scheme, they cited two reasons for the NPAs. The first is that loans are being given without any collateral, making it difficult for banks to go after defaulters. The second is the over-emphasis on banks to meet loan disbursal targets. In the race to meet targets, credentials of loan seekers are often not verified. On the lack of security Devin, der Sharma, a policy expert, said the government had not learnt from the failure of similar government schemes in the past. “I remember a similar scheme was launched by Haryana CM Devi Lal and a major portion of the scheme had tur ned into NPAs. In this scheme also the government has just doled out money to people without any security and lakhs of the accounts turned into NPAs,” he said. Bank officials admitted that there were some flaws in the policy Ashwini Rana, vice president . of the National Organization of Bank Workers, blamed the unsecured loans for the NPAs. “Banks want to help, but people have misused it,” he said. According to Rana, the scheme shouldn’t be target-driven — a view shared by many others. Day after, no heads roll, CM attempts to buy time Amarinder Singh sets up magisterial probe panel; Railways refuses to take action against train driver; Sidhu puts foot in the mouth again H A R P R E E T B A J W A @ Amritsar REKHA SHARMA NCW, Chairperson ‘CAN HELP WOMEN IF APPROACHED’ S U M I S U K A N YA D U T TA T he #MeToo movement has created an environment which allows women to speak out about sexual harassment without the fear of being stigmatised, believes National Commission for Women (NCW) Chairperson Rekha Sharma. Speaking to The New Sunday Express, she urged victims to bring their complaints to the NCW. The fact that only a few women have done so far is in no way a reflection on the commission, she insists. The NCW chief also played down allegations that it was slow in issuing a statement on the movement, saying that on the very first day actress Tanushree Dutta started talking about it, the Commisson tweeted urging her to come forward and file a formal complaint with it. FULL INTERVIEW: P9 A day after the horrific train accident near Amritsar that killed at least 59 Dussehra revellers, and left over 70 injured, all stakeholders - from the local lawmaker and Local Bodies Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu to the local corporation to the railways ministry - tried to deflect blame. Amid frayed tempers from a hostile crowd, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh sought to buy time by ordering a magisterial probe. The railways though refused to take action against the train driver. Railway Board Chair man Ashwani Lohani blamed the local authorities for not giving a heads up on the Dussehra event near the tracks. “At midsections, trains run at their assigned speed and people are not expected to be on the tracks,” he reasoned, pointing out the gateman was 400 metres away from the site of the accident at a level crossing. The train’s speedometer had recorded 91 kmph when the first impact happened. In his disclosure statement, train driver Arvind said he tried to reduce the speed on spotting the crowd. But since it was stoned, he didn’t bring it to a full stop so as to protect passengers. Sidhu, whose wife Navjot Kaur Sidhu was the chief guest at the Ramleela event, complicated matters further saying the accident was an act of god while deflecting criticism aimed at his wife for exiting the scene instead of helping the victims. For her part, Navjot Kaur pointed fingers at the railways claiming the gateman should have asked the train driver to slow down. While the organisers claimed they had police permission for the event, the Amritsar Municipal Corporation, the health department and the fire brigade had not given clearance. Sources said the police gave permission as the organising committee was led by Saurabh Mithu Madan, son of area councillor Vijay Madan, who is close to Sidhu. Amid all the gloom, there were stories of sheer grit as well. Like that of Dalbir Singh (24), who helped save many lives as he dragged out revellers who were oblivious to the rushing train, before he was crushed to death. Dalbir had played Ravana in the Ramleela that day . Amid outpouring of grief, the dismembered remains of 39 of the 59 victims, including children, were consigned to flames at different cremation grounds in the city on Saturday. Most victims hailed from UP and Bihar. P7 Coalition coordination committee chief Siddaramaiah flanked by Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy and JD(S) patriarch H D Deve Gowda at a joint press conference in Bengaluru on Saturday | PANDARINATH B Gowda, Siddaramaiah display rare bonhomie to fight common foe BJP EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE Locals gather near the train accident site in Amritsar on Saturday | PTI @ Bengaluru IT was a photo-op no one could miss. After 12 years, political rivals-turned-coalition partners JD (S) supremo H D Deve Gowda and Congress leader Siddaramaiah came together to display their newfound bonhomie ahead of the November 3 bypolls. Faced with an uphill task of convincing their cadre to work together to defeat the common enemy BJP, the leaders decided to bury the hatchet. Flanked by Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy and minister D K Shivakumar on one side and State Congress president Dinesh Gundu Rao and DyCM G Parameshwara on the other side, Gowda and Sid- Looked like Partition rerun, says eyewitness With dismembered limbs of the train accident victims strewn all around, it appeared like a Partition rerun, recalled an eyewitness. During Partition, millions were butchered in mindless communal violence on both sides of the border I could not sleep the whole night. There were body parts - heads, legs, hearts - on the track. It was a scene I’ll never be able to forget. Among the injured was my brother. Thank god he’s alive Pawan Kumar, eyewitness J&K LOCAL BODY POLLS RANIL BJP SPROUTS IN MILITANCY-HIT KASHMIR F AYA Z W A N I @ Srinagar FOR the first ever time in the history of Jammu and Kashmir, the BJP opened its account in the local body elections in the Valley, making significant gains in militancy hit districts. While its rise was facilitated by the poll boycott by the National Conference and the PDP over the controversial Article 35A issue, the fact that the Congress, which was expected to be better rooted in the Valley, failed to grab the entire political space vacated by the NC and the PDP stood out in stark contrast. Of the 47 wards of Kulgam in south Kashmir, the BJP won eight, the Congress three and independents seven. In Pulwama district, which is a stronghold of militancy, of the 69 wards, BJP won nine and independents three. There was no contest in the rest of the wards. In Anantnag district, of the 132 wards, the BJP won 29 while the Congress got 60 and independents 11. The BJP made gains in Ganderbal (two wards) and Budgam (five wards) districts. The Congress won 23 wards and independents 16 in Budgam while independents won 13 and Congress two in Ganderbal. Saffron sweep in Jammu municipality Of the 75 wards in the municipality, the BJP won 43, Cong 14 and independents 18. Of the 134 wards in local bodies in Jammu district, the BJP won 92 and independents 34, pushing the Cong to a distant third with 28 seats The BJP won 25 of 88 wards in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district, with independents getting 17 and Congress 17. Sri Lankan PM holds talks with Modi Independents hold the cards in Srinagar Of the 74 wards in Srinagar municipality, independents got a whopping 53, the Cong 16 and the BJP 4. In Leh, Cong swept the local body polls by winning all 13 wards. in Kargil district, Cong won six while independents wrested seven seats In militancy infested Bandipora district, the Congress won 27 wards, independents 10 and the BJP three. The duo held talks in New Delhi on Saturday on ways to deepen the “historically close” relations between the two countries and reviewed the progress of Indiaassisted development projects in the island nation DRESS CODE No more sarees, it’s khaki pants and shirts for women cops EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Bengaluru Policewomen across the state will soon be seen sporting the standard khaki uniforms consisting of pants and shirts along with a belt and boots instead of the khaki sarees which are preferred by some serving police personnel. In a recent meeting chaired by Director General and Inspector General of Police (DG&IGP) Neelamani N Raju, this decision was taken so as to make it easier for policewomen to react faster in preventing crime. An order to this effect was issued by Neelamani Raju after holding talks with senior police officers including women police personnel. In the meeting, the uniform system in the department was reviewed along with other guidelines for women po- lice personnel holding the rank of constable and above. The rule has been introduced as some concerns were raised about the ability of women personnel to chase and catch criminals or respond quickly to an escalating security situation when dressed in a saree as compared to the standard uniform. In particular, the problems with having to chase and catch chain snatchers was discussed leading to the decision, sources said. Ground rules are also laid down for policewomen in terms of their overall appearance to ensure they look professional at all times. This includes directions to keep their hair tied in a bun and to avoid colouring their h a i r, we a r i n g f l owe r s o r makeup. The order will be enforced across all police stations in the P6 state. daramaiah addressed a joint press conference in the city on Saturday to send the message of unity to their cadre. “We have decided to bury all differences and make a fresh start to protect the country from the communal forces,” declared Gowda. But the Congress is facing discontent within its ranks, especially in the constituencies where it is supporting JD (S) candidates. The top leaders, however, seem to be confident. “We will convince our workers of the need for unity among secular forces. This is a new beginning,” Gowda added. Siddaramaiah said they have come together to avoid division of secular votes as that would only help the BJP. Of the five seats, the JD(S) is contesting from two Lok Sabha and one assembly segment, while the Congress is contesting from the remaining two seats, including one LS seat. Coming together of these two bitter political foes is a significant development as they had maintained some distance even after their parties formed the coalition government. Siddaramaiah, who was with Gowda in Janata Dal, had joined Congress in 2006. We have decided to bury all differences and make a fresh start to protect the country from the communal forces. We will go before the people together and seek their forgiveness for mistakes committed in the past — H D Deve Gowda, JD(S) supremo Tontadarya Mutt seer dies after cardiac arrest A M I T S U PA D H Y E @ Hubballi PROMINENT Lingayat religious leader Siddalinga Swami of Tontadarya Mutt in Gadag died on Saturday morning following cardiac arrest. He was 69. The seer was taken to a private hospital after he complained of chest pain early on Saturday but he died on the way. The last rites will be held at the mutt in Gadag at 4 pm on Sunday . Soon after the news broke out, hundreds of devotees gathered in front of the hospital and mutt to pay their last respects. Women and mutt residents couldn’t hold back their tears and broke down at the hospital. His mortal remains were placed on the premises of the mutt where devotees queued up to pay their last respects. A mutt official told The New Sunday Express that the seer collapsed at the mutt after a massive cardiac arrest and he was rushed to hospital, but he died enroute. The seer was diabetic and had undergone knee surgery a few months ago. The successor of the mutt is expected to be decided after the last rites. The mutt administrator said they will announce the name of the new seer in 2-3 days. Fo r m e r P r i m e M i n i s t e r H D Deve Gowda, Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy and former CM Siddaramaiah have condoled the seer’s death. Kumaraswamy, Siddaramaiah and other politicians cutting across party lines, seers form various mutts and thousands of devotees are expected to descend at Dambal Gadag Tontadarya mutt in Gadag for the last rites. The 69-year-old seer was in the forefront of the separate Lingayat religion movement which took off two years ago. He was backed by several Lingayat mutts and also political leaders during the movement. He was also part of several Kannada agitations, including the Gokak movement, Mahadayi struggle, Save Kappadagudda forest campaign, among others. Born on February 21, 1949, in Korawar village of Sindagi taluk in Vijayapura, he was the 19th seer in the tradition of the Tontadarya Mutt. He was known as ‘Pustaka Swami’ (seer of books) and ‘Kannada Kuluguru’ for his contribution in the field of literature. P3
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