AFP THRISSUR l MONDAY l AUGUST 19, 2019 l `7.00 l PAGES 30 l CITY EDITION RED WEDDING IN KABUL AS SUICIDE BOMBER KILLS 63 LARGELY A GATHERING OF SHIAS Over 180 people were wounded after the attacker targeted a packed marriage hall in the Afghan capital late Saturday ISIS CLAIMS RESPONSIBILITY Mirwais, the groom, recalled greeting smiling guests in the afternoon, before seeing their bodies being carried out hours later. “I lost my brother, I lost my friends. My bride is in shock. I will never be happy again,” he told a local TV channel. The wedding was largely a gathering of Shia Muslims, AFP reported. They are often targeted in Sunni-majority Afghanistan P10 ■ ■ The Taliban, which is currently in talks with the US over an agreement to end 18 years of fighting, condemned the attack Islamic State claimed responsibility for the suicide bombing. But the “Taliban cannot absolve itself of blame, for it provides a platform for terrorists”, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said 100th INDEPENDENCE DAY TO BE MARKED BY AFGHANISTAN ON MONDAY 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 STRUCTURAL OR CYCLICAL? OR BOTH? 22 people were killed and 12 others hurt in rainrelated incidents in Himachal Pradesh on Sunday. Three died in Punjab due to rains Express takes a wide-angle view of the nature of the economic slowdown and how India reached where it has now I n less than a fortnight, officials will dump crucial, but disappointing data on us. On August 30, when the Central Statistics Office reports its quarterly health check on the economy, chances are GDP growth for the June quarter will see a fresh low of 5.4-5.6 per cent from March’s 5.8 per cent, which itself was a five-year-low. And the architects of India’s ongoing boom-to-bust cycle, by majority opinion, are none other than its own government and its intellectual wrong-turns, and institutions like the RBI, and its tight monetary policy There’s also una. voidable trouble from abroad due to the deepening US-China trade war, global economic slowdown, Brexit uncertainty and brief, but consistent global oil price and currency shocks. As we course through the slump, the government hasn’t gotten around to naming the nature of the slowdown. Prime Minister Narendra Modi in recent interviews told us what was done and will be done, but not what caused it. For now, whether it’s a structural or cyclical slowdown depends on who you are talking to. Optimists and their undying country spirit see the slump as a pass-through, but ‘professional pessimists’ fear the problem is deep-rooted. Knowing the nature of the MELTDOWN GLOBAL S U N I T H A N AT T I & J O N AT H A N A N A N D A FIRST OF 3-PART SERIES Bad news piling up from across the board l Auto sector struggling for over a year, with weak demand rendering at least 2.15 lakh unemployed l Slump in real estate sector worsening with unsold inventory aggregating 1.28 million units across 30 cities l Slowdown has now spread to steelmakers, forcing companies like Tata Steel to place all their bets on Centre’s proposed `100 lakh crore infra investments l Telecom sector bad loans story waiting to be told slowdown helps deploy the right monetary or fiscal policy prescriptions. What we need is a truth-teller, but in its absence, all those with a neutral H A R P R E E T B A J W A @ Chandigarh Any talks with Pak will only be on PoK: Rajnath TWO days after saying India could take a relook at its no first use (NFU) nuclear doctrine, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh targeted Pakistan directly on Sunday saying that if at all talks are held with that nation, they will only be on Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK). Addressing a rally after flagging off the 22-day long Jan Ashirwad Yatra in Kalka, Haryana, Rajnath said: “After we removed Article 370, our neighbour is knocking the doors of the international community saying Indian made a mistake. What crime have we committed? Why are view sound sensible. “It’s a combination of both structural and cyclical slowdowns. For instance, there are structural factors like declining wages that’s affecting demand. There are also cyclical issues at play like the NBFC crisis that need immediate attention,” Dr Sowmya Kanti Ghosh, Chief Economic Advisor, SBI told this paper. A synoptic view of high-frequency indicators like auto sales, exports, investments, wages and savings reveals the real magnitude of the crisis at hand, though none has a clue how it may all end. The auto sector, the first to flash danger signs, has been struggling for a year. Weak consumption and regulatory changes leading to higher costs and credit unavailability exacerbated by the NBFC crisis, left the sector in a slump last seen two decades ago. At first, automakers tried cutting production, and when it didn’t help, they started shutting plants in short spells. This has a multiplier effect. The first casualty were auto dealers. The unprofitable ones snapped out in no time, while others are barely scraping through. The severely-hit back-end comprising auto component suppliers, who besides halting production, did the only thing they could to survive — cut jobs. On last count, the sector rendered at least 2.15 lakh unemployed. If left unaddressed, this number could blow up to 10 lakh. CONTINUED ON: P6 we being threatened?” Rajnath noted that the world’s most powerful country the US, had snubbed Paki, stan and asked it to hold a bilateral dialogue with India. “Talks with Pakistan will only be held if it stops exporting terror,’’ Rajnath added. His statements come in the backdrop of Pakistan trying to drum up global support over Kashmir after India removed the special status the state enjoyed under Article 370 and its Prime Minister Imran Khan’s continuing rants on Twitter and elsewhere. Islamabad’s attempt to internationalise the issue by taking it to the UNSC failed miserably last Friday . Three people were killed and around 22 went missing as cloudbursts wreaked havoc in Uttarakhand on Sunday | P7 HANGING ON Vehicles suspended precariously on a mountainside in Shimla on Sunday due to landslides following record monsoon rain in the Himachal capital | PTI RAIN SUBSIDES IN STATE, MORE BODIES FOUND Though rain has stopped in almost all parts of the state, the death toll following the monsoon fury keeps rising. 121 21 death toll 6 still missing more bodies recovered from the landslide site at Kavalappara 47,622 in relief camps There is no major rain warning for the next five days across the state SI suspended over lathicharge on CPI MLA, leaders E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Kochi A DAY after state police chief Loknath Behera’s recommendation not to initiate departmental action against the officers involved in the lathicharge on CPI MLA Eldo Abraham and party leaders in Kochi sparked off a controversy, Ernakulam Central SI Vibin Das has been placed under suspension pending inquiry . DIG and Additional Commissioner of Police K P Philip issued the order on Sunday after a preliminary inquiry found that a lapse occurred on the part the SI in initiating action against the protesters before receiving a lawful direction. “It’s found that the SI acted without receiving a lawful direction. The inquiry will look into whether there was any such situation to initiate action without a direction from the top officials,” said Philip. Behera had submitted a report to the state government describing the lathicharge as a normal action. According to him, the police did not do anything intentional ● More on P6 against the MLA. WITH THIS ISSUE THE ESSENTIAL CAMPUS DIGEST YOUR LIFE COACH 30 PAGES, INCLUDING 16 OF edex (TABLOID) CALL FOR SELF-CORRECTION Party leaders arrogant with people, says CPM report E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ T’Puram THE CPM in its party report presented at the secretariat meeting here on Sunday concluded that there were widespread reports that party leaders are arrogant and that they should behave properly with the general public. The report presented by party state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan stated that the party was all for self-correction. The main agenda of the twoday meeting is to improve the performance of the LDF Government, discuss changes required at the organisational level and the party’s working style. Discussion on the report is scheduled for Monday In the Kol. kata plenum, there was a sugges- tion for aggressive organisational work, but it was not fully implemented, the report stated. There was also criticism that the party’s affiliate organisations were not active enough even after the plenum suggestion. Party cadre and leaders had conducted door-to-door meetings with people to get feedback at the state level and the re- port on the same has to be read out at the district committees concerned.The state secretariat meeting and the state committee meeting will discuss the ensuing byelections in the six assembly constituencies. CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury and Politburo member in-charge (organisation) S Ramachandran Pillai are taking part in the meeting. Hooda revolts, first big test for Sonia to keep the Haryana unit intact HARPREET BAJWA AND RICHA S H A R M A @ Chandigarh/New Delhi SULKING two-time Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda on Sunday raised the banner of revolt within the Congress by launching a broadside against the state unit, making it Sonia Gandhi’s first big test to keep the party intact after taking over as its interim president recently . Hooda though stopped short of resigning from the party He . hailed the Centre’s move to nullify Article 370 in J&K, claimed the Congress had lost its way and formed a 25-member committee to decide his future course of action. As many as 12 of the party’s 15 MLAs in Haryana are part of the panel, indicating Hooda’s clout. Also, over 60 former MPs and MLAs attended the rally which is bad news for the , Congress as Assembly elections are hardly a month away . There is a strong buzz that Hooda may quit the Congress soon and float his own party . In Delhi, the revolt was seen as a pressure tactic to force Sonia to sack state party chief Ashok Tanwar, who is close to Rahul Gandhi. According to party sources, Sonia is expected to take a call on the constitution of committees for Assembly elections in Haryana after August 20. At the rally Hooda declared , himself as the chief ministerial candidate and even talked about a manifesto with sops for various sections of the society . “I support the Centre’s decision to abrogate Article 370. When the government does something right I support them. Many of my colleagues opposed this decision on Article 370, but my party has lost its way It’s not the same Con. gress that it used to be. When it comes to patriotism and self respect I will not compromise with anyone,’’ he said.
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