MADURAI FRIDAY AUGUST 30, 2019 `6.00 PAGES 20 LATE CITY EDITION GOVT TO SWEETEN AIR INDIA DEAL BY TWEAKING TERMS After its earlier bid to woo investors for the carrier failed, the govt now plans to dilute disinvestment terms and conditions ‘NEW EXPRESSION OF INTEREST WILL BE A HIT’ ■ 160 BIDDING PROCESS TO START IN OCTOBER In the first attempt to divest AI in May 2018, the government wanted to retain 24% stake, which could have been one of the primary reasons for not getting potential buyers. Sources said now the govt will put 95% stake up for sale and retain 5% for employees stock option. Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Puri claimed the new EoI will be a hit with investors P11 ■ In February, the government had approved setting up of Air India Assets Holding Company to transfer `29,464 crore worth loans of the national carrier and its four subsidiaries The government is set to fast-track the process and a meeting headed by Home Minister Amit Shah will set the ball rolling NO. OF QUERIES ABOUT AIR INDIA SALE PROCESS EARLIER, BUT ZERO BIDS 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 Slowdown cyclical, problems structural: RBI Central bank identifies downturn in manufacturing, trade, hotels, transport, construction and agriculture sectors S U N I T H A N AT T I AFTER months of whistling in the dark, India finally diagnosed the nature of its economic slowdown, but with a twist. Typically, downturns are either cyclical or structural, but RBI believes that we are seeing a bit of both. It’s a cyclical slowdown, but with deep structural problems that need urgent reforms, it concluded in its annual report released Thursday . But by its own admission, this ‘precise diagnosis’ was rather difficult to arrive at, as the conditions weren’t really ‘easy to disentangle’. “The key question that confronts the Indian economy as it looks ahead to the rest of 201920 is: are we dealing with a soft patch, or a cyclical downswing, or a structural slowdown?” the A1.96 lakh cr RBI’s contingency fund in FY19 slipped from `2.32 lakh crore in FY18, after the `52,000 crore excess payout to the govt A71,542.93 cr The banking sector reported 6,801 frauds involving `71,542.93 crore in FY19, RBI said SQUEEZE ON 2,000 NOTES While the currency in circulation has jumped 17% to `21.1 lakh crore as of March this year, `2,000 notes seem to have shrunk both in value and volume terms. The value of the pink notes shrank from `6,72,600 crore in FY18 to `6,58,200 crore in FY19, according to RBI. Volume declined from 3,363 million pieces to 3,291 mn pieces. In contrast, the value and volume of `500 notes shot up 39% in FY19 | P13 The recent deceleration could be in the nature of a soft patch mutating into a cyclical downswing, rather than a deep structural slowdown... Nonetheless, there are still structural issues in land, labour, agricultural marketing and the like - RBI banking regulator wondered. Should there be counter-cyclical monetary and fiscal policy actions? Or deepseated reforms? Policy responses are dependent on the answers, but RBI gave away little. “Proximate answers could perhaps be found in the lessons of the experience of 2018-19, with which it could be feasible to assess the outlook for 2019-20 and the challenges that lie ahead,” it said. The government’s fiscal policy appears exhausted — which is to say fiscal stimulus is ruled out — leaving the central bank to do the heavy lifting via its monetary policy . While admitting that our golden growth years are turning leaden, RBI was convinced that a broad-based cyclical downtur n was underway across manufacturing, trade, construction, agriculture and real estate. “The recent deceleration could be in the nature of a soft patch mutating into a cyclical downswing, rather than a deep structural slowdown. Nonetheless, there are still structural issues in land, labour, agricultural marketing and the like, which need to be addressed,” it said. Indian economy needs investments and consumption demand, but it’s getting neither. As if poking on a sore spot, the central bank further noted that investment rate crashed from 40 to 32 per cent in past seven years and that its revival along with consumption demand should be our ‘highest priority .’ CONTINUED ON: P13 EXPRESS READ SC collegium recommends four names for apex court Scholar tries to kill self over prof’s casteist slur NIA raids Kovai houses over alleged IS links UP student missing case: SC takes note Elavenil bags 10m air rifle gold at World Cup A woman pursuing M.Phil at the Government Arts College, Kumbakonam attempted suicide inside the campus on Wednesday, after her professor allegedly hurled caste slurs at her | P4 National Investigative Agency (NIA) officials conducted searches in the houses of five persons, in Coimbatore on Thursday. They are suspected to have been in contact with IS members | P5 New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday took cognisance on its own over reports of a woman student going missing in UP after levelling allegations of harassment against BJP leader Swami Chinmayanand. Cuddalore native Elavenil Valarivan won the 10m air rifle gold at the ongoing ISSF World Cup in Rio, Brazil. With a total of 251.7, the 20-year-old shooter took her first medal at the senior level | P15 EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi DAYS after President Ram Nath Kovind gave his nod to increasing the number of judges in the Supreme Court, the collegium is learnt to have made recommendations to the Centre for filling up the posts. The collegium headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi has suggested the names of four sitting chief justices of high courts—three to fill up the new posts and another one as a vacancy arose after Justice Abhay Sapre retired on August 27. The names will now be sent to the Union law ministry . T h o s e n ow recommended for elevation are justices Hris h i ke s h Roy, Ravinder Bhat, V Ramasubramanian and Krishna Murari. They are currently the chief justices of the Kerala HC, Rajasthan HC, Himachal Pradesh HC, and Punjab and Haryana HC respectively . Recently, the sanctioned strength of judges in the Supreme Court was increased from 31 to 34. The decision was taken days after Chief Justice Gogoi wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi asking him to increase the number of judges in the top court. Due to paucity of judges, the required number of Constitution benches to decide important cases involving questions of law were not being formed, the Chief Justice had said. Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and Health Minister C Vijayabaskar with other dignitaries in London, on Thursday | EXPRESS EPS SIGNS 3 HEALTH PACTS ON HIS DAY-1 IN LONDON EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Chennai ON his first day of visit to London, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami signed three key partnership agreements in the health sector. The first was a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the Tamil Nadu government and the International Skills Development Corporation, leading skill developers in the field of medicine, to develop the skills of healthcare staff in the State. The second was also an MoU, with the King’s College London, which intends to es- tablish a branch in Tamil Nadu. The third was a Statement of Intent, signed with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. The SoI is aimed at improving methods for containing communicable diseases such as dengue and malaria, an official release said. The Chief Minister also went to the Emergency Operations Centre and Specialist Operations Centre of London Ambulance Service, and interacted with officials there to study the functioning of the call centre and how a similar model of medical emergency can be adopted here. ‘Surprise awaiting Stalin’ “A big surprise is awaiting Stalin since the CM’s visit will bring many new industries to the State, creating employment opportunities for the youth. Till then, he has to be patient,” fisheries minister D Jayakumar said in Chennai, responding to criticism OPEN... BACKFIRE Gang pulls out gun to save toll, gets caught EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Madurai IT was like an action movie scene. Six persons travelling in an SUV when stopped at a toll , booth on the highway, pulled out a gun and opened fire. But, unlike in movies, they did not get to walk or drive away in slow motion while people ran helter-skelter. They were tracked down and caught by the cops within a couple of hours. The incident happened on Thursday afternoon at the Sasikumar, who was part of the gang, pointing his gun at the public | EXPRESS Kappalur tollgate. C ‘Ennore’ Dhanasekaran (36) of Tiruchy was travelling with five of his henchmen -- K Karthikeyan ( 3 8 ) o f P e r a m b a l u r, M Harikrishnan (33) of Vyasarpadi, A Raja (34) of Vellore, P Sasikumar (26) of Tiruchy and AJ Ragupathy of Madurai -from Tirunelveli to Tiruchy . Dhanasekaran is accused in a murder case registered in Tirunelveli, and the gang had gone there to appear for the case hearing. The incident happened while they were returning to Tiruchy “They had . to wait for a few minutes due to the queue at the toll booth. When their turn came, they refused to pay the fare and tried P5 to drive away . Henchman dumped by gang When crowd gathered around, the gang panicked and fled the spot’ leaving behind one of their men. Surrounded by the public, he pulled out his gun and fired three rounds in the air PATNA HIGH COURT Judge blows whistle on graft in HC, faces wrath of its 11-member bench E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Patna/New Delhi A day after a senior judge remarked in a verdict that corruption in the Patna High Court was an open secret, a 11-member bench led by Chief Justice A P Sahi on Thursday stayed the order and also withdrew all judicial work from him. Justice Rakesh Kumar, in his 20-page order on Wednesday had urged the CJI and SC , collegium to take cognisance of “corrupt practices plaguing the judicial system at all levels in Bihar”. The order was passed while hearing the bail plea of retired IAS officer K P Ramaiah, who is accused of graft. The HC, as well as the SC, had earlier rejected his request for protection from arrest due to the serious allegations against him. Ramaiah later had to surrender before a lower court and was granted bail the same day Justice Kumar questioned the manner . in which the bail was given and added that instances of corruption were common even in the Patna HC. He cited many examples, including the mild punishments given to four judicial officers who had many serious complaints against them. Accusing the HC judges of nepotism as well, Justice Kumar in his order had said, “After my elevation as judge, I started to notice that senior judges were buttering the Chief Justice ... to get their favourites or those belonging to their caste elevated as a judge or to do some favour to corrupt judicial officers. It is also an open fact that wards of judges are practising in the Patna HC.” Upright, he cut his teeth in fodder scam cases Justice Rakesh Kumar has a reputation of being an upright judge. He served as a standing counsel for CBI for 12 years and handled the big-ticket fodder scam cases, before being appointed as a HC judge in 2009. Lawyers of Patna HC, on condition of anonymity, said he was appointed based on his long experience in the Bar
Express Publications (Madurai) Limited publishes the prestigious English language newspaper The New Indian Express from 21 centres in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Orissa.
Express Publications (Madurai) Ltd. also publishes the Tamil daily Dinamani, Cinema Express (Tamil) and Malayalam Vaarika (Malayalam). Through a sister company, Kannada Prabha Publications Ltd., it publishes the Kannada daily Kannada Prabha.
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