E PRESS MAPS X THE NEW BANKING CAPITALS OF INDIA Delhi Punjab National Bank (Oriental Bank of Commerce & United Bank) `17,95,000 cr Mumbai Union Bank of India (Andhra Bank, Corporation Bank) `14,59,434 cr Punjab & Sind Bank To be merged State Bank of India Already merged Bank of India Central Bank of India LEANER, MEANER In the year-ago period, India’s economic growth was 8 per cent It looks even worse considering the fact that the previous low in GDP growth was seven years ago at 4.9 per cent in April-June 2012-13 The gross value added (GVA) growth in the manufacturing sector tumbled to 0.6% in Q1 from 12.1% growth a year ago Vadodara Bank of Baroda MADURAI SATURDAY AUGUST 31, 2019 `6.00 PAGES 20 LATE CITY EDITION Sharp fall in manufacturing output and subdued farm sector activity pulled down GDP growth to a seven-year low of 5% in the April-June quarter of 2019-20, official data released Friday showed Left alone Farm sector GVA growth remained subdued at 2% compared to 5.1 per cent in the corresponding period of the previous fiscal Kolkata UCO Bank Pune Bank of Maharashtra Chennai Indian Bank ` (Allahabad Bank) Bengaluru Canara Bank `8,07,859 cr (Syndicate Bank) Indian Overseas Bank `15,20,295 cr Combined business Bank HQ Note: Banks named in brackets are to be merged with the holding entity Ominous 5 amid high-5 dream The slowdown in growth is due to endogenous and exogenous factors... The government is alive to the situation and has taken several measures Chief Economic Advisor K Subramanian The government is pre-occupied in shoddy headline management and cover up job, instead of addressing the structural issues ailing the economy. This is a classic case of quacks turning into surgeons. Naturally, patients will be dead before you even know Cong chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala Meanwhile, shake-up in PMO as Misra quits Amid speculation that he may get a gubernatorial assignment, Nripendra Misra (74), principal secretary to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, will step down from his post in two weeks. He will be succeeded by P K Sinha, who superannuated as cabinet secretary. He was on Friday appointed an officer on special duty in the PM’s office. The PMO also inducted five officers, including a joint secretary, three deputy secretaries and a director Quarterly GDP growth falls to 7-year low of 5%, casting a shadow over govt’s ambitious $5 trillion economy plan J AYA N TA R O Y C H O W D H U R Y @ New Delhi CONFIRMING fears that India may be up against a protracted slowdown, official data released on Friday showed the country’s GDP growth nose-dived to a 7-year low as muted consumer demand, turmoil in the NBFC sector, and global trade spats hurt the economy . While economists were not expecting robust numbers, they were alarmed as India’s growth in Q1 was lower than China’s 6.2% for the same period, which was the country’s lowest in three decades. It also means the government’s plan to grow India’s economy to $5 trillion over the next five years may not be easy . According to Prof M Govinda Rao, former Member of the Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council, the target will remain “a distant dream”. “We’ve been talking of slowdown in demand for long and today’s figures only underline it. The manufacturing sector has grown just 0.6%, compared to 12.1% in the same period last year. It shows the problem has deepened. People are not buying. The government should now seriously look at structural reforms including in the labour and land markets as a way out of this morass,” he said. The numbers paint a bleak picture of the economy Agriculture grew just 2%, . compared with 5.1% in the same quarter last year. Construction sector growth shrank to 5.7% against 9.6%. Even the services sector put up a poor show. “The slowdown is obviously much deeper and broad-based than previously understood,” said Prof N R Bhanumurtrhy of the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy “However, the cur. rent policy measures which have been announced by the government and possible improvements in external factors could see a recovery albeit slowly in the , next couple of quarters,” he added. While the government has finally acknowledged there is slowdown in the economy and has started taking corrective measures, economists think the overall growth for the full year would remain subdued, with Prof Rao forecasting 5.5-6% GDP growth for 2019-2020. The poor growth numbers may also prompt RBI to continue with its policy of cutting interest rates. “RBI will feel vindicated in its dovish shift this year and will almost certainly add to the 110 bps of policy rate cuts introduced so far,” said Mark Wiliam, Chief Asia Economist with Capital Markets, in a note on the GDP numbers. “The problem area is the extent of the demand squeeze we are facing. Private consumption growth has fallen to a fouryear low of 3.1% in this quarter,” said Prof Biswajit Dhar of JNU. “Measures such as FDI rule changes, more liquidity to the private sector will help, but in the ultimate analysis, the government will have to do some amount of pump priming by spending more on infrastructure, if we are to get over this hump.” WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW IFSC CODE: The code is unique for each bank branch. After merger, this will change. You will need to know what the new code is ACCOUNT NO: This may also change if the branch is being merged. So do check if that happens CARDS & CHEQUE BOOKS: New credit & debit cards and cheque books are likely to be issued, especially if branches are also merged This is going to provide lot of strength to the economy because these mergers will bring synergies in operation Nirmala Sitharaman, Finance Minister Big-bang mergers to create NextGen public sector banks A N U R A D H A S H U K L A @ New Delhi TAKING its plan to consolidate the banking sector to create larger, stronger banks, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday announced four mega merger plans involving 10 public sector banks, bringing down the number of PSBs to just 12. “We’re trying to build the NextGen banks,” Sitharaman told reporters after a meeting with the 10 banks. The Government as majority owner will merge Punjab National Bank with Oriental Bank of Commerce and United Bank, Canara Bank with Syndicate Bank, Union Bank with Andhra Bank and Corporation Bank. Indian Bank will be merged with Allahabad Bank. Explaining the rationale behind the merger, Sitharaman said, “Consolidated PSBs for strong national presence and global reach is one of the objectives with which we went about this plan. So 82% of all PSB business and 56% of all commercial bank business will be with them.” Extensive deliberations were held with the banks concerned as well as RBI before taking this step. “It is a good move as it will reduce number of branches, improve cost efficiency and most importantly, the bal- ance sheets post mergers are likely to be strengthened,” said Sai Sanjay Bhattacharyya, ex-MD of SBI. The PNB-led entity will have a total business of over `17.94 lakh crore with a net NPA raio of 6.61%, while the merger led by Canara Bank will have a total business of `15.2 lakh crore with a net NPA of 5.6%. The Union Bank-led merged entity will have a business of `14.59 lakh crore with a net NPA ofd 6.3% and the Indian Bank-led merged entity will have a total business of `8.07 lakh crore and a net NPA of 4.39% The government, however, decided that two PSBs with all-India presence — Bank of India and Central Bank of India — will continue as independent publicsector banks. While Indian Overseas Bank, UCO Bank, Bank of Maharashtra, and Punjab & Sind Bank will also continue to function as earlier as they have strong “regional focus”. The government, however, refused to give any timeline for the merger citing “two more rounds of meetings with the RBI over this”. The exact timeline would depend on the boards of the respective banks after mutual discussion so that transition is smooth. Bankers said usually such mergers take between six months to one year to be effected. TN wants UK to invest in water, clean energy Special team to trace two Sri Lankans EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Madurai THE Ramanathapuram Superintendent of Police (SP) informed the Madurai Bench of Madras High Court on Friday that a special team was formed to secure the two absconding Sri Lankan nationals. The two Sri Lankans — Sanga Srantha and Mohamed Saffras — were inadvertently released from Puzhal prison on August 18, instead of being deported. Their whereabouts are still unknown. To fix responsibility for the negligence, a bench summoned top officials, including Superintendent of Police of Q-Branch CID, Ramanathapuram SP and Superin, tendent of Puzhal Prison II and also sought explanation from Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Police (Internal Security) and Ramanathapuram Collector. Hearing the same, the Judges directed the SP to file a status report on the progress of the search operation in the next hearing on September 19. Earlier, the Judges advised the officials not to remain strictly bound by jurisdiction. The two Lankans are suspected of being involved in several heinous crimes in Sri Lanka and had entered India through Tamil Nadu to escape punishment. @ Madurai ‘Will achieve SDG’ BOMBASTIC The unexploded shell found near a temple in Tiruporur was disposed on Friday by conducting a controlled explosion inside the Manampathy Lake | EXPRESS HOPE FOR GUEST LECTURERS E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Dharmapuri Application window CATALYSING recruitment of assistant professors in govern- Application for these positions would be available between September 4 and September 24. If all goes well, all of the above teaching vacancies would be filled in three months. ment colleges, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami signed a Government Order mandating filling up of 2,340 vacancies across the State over the next three months. Besides addressing the issue of vacancies in institutions of higher learning, the government envisages making guest lecturers permanent, subject to scrutiny and eligibility, to shore up the quality of education. The details emerged during a press conference addressed by Minister of Higher Education K P Anbalagan, who was in town to inspect various government projects at the Dr MGR Arts and Science College in Palacode on Friday. According to the minister, educators working as guest lecturers would be promoted to government staff, if they are found eligible. The educators would be selected based on the criteria approved by the State direct interviews and counselling. Tamil Nadu had already achieved the Millennium Development Goals set by United Nations and it is poised to achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) in the Health Sector, ahead of 2030, the CM said Affordable homes The chief minister also highlighted the work done by his govt in affordable housing segment and improving living conditions Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami speaking at London on Friday | EXPRESS EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Chennai CHIEF Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami on Friday continued efforts to woo investments to the State from UK, where he is on a visit. The focus was on sectors such as green energy water, urban in, frastructure and affordable housing. Palaniswami said the steps taken for taking Tamil Nadu to next level include a State supported Alternative Investment Fund which would facilitate investment by global investors in economic infrastructure, a Social Impact Fund for providing affordable housing for lower income groups besides vulnerable sections of society and a biotechnology fund to help promote this sunrise in- dustry in India. The Chief Minister pointed out that these funds were managed by an independent Fund Manager, where the State has a minority equity holding, to ensure its independence and professionalism. Underscoring the fact that Tamil Nadu had been a front runner among Indian States in various health indicators, Palaniswami said the State government’s policy interventions, introduction of several novel schemes and increased funding played an important role in the State’s improved health outcomes. Meanwhile, speaking at King’s College Hospital, the Chief Minister promised that Tamil Nadu government will extend all possible assistance to the hospital in setting up its branches in the State. Auto driver held for helping gang escape after shooting incident at tollgate @ Madurai THE Thirumangalam Town police on Friday launched a manhunt for an absconding suspect in the Kappalur tollgate shooting incident, wherein a sixmember gang on Thursday refused to pay the toll fee and fired in the air thrice. Meanwhile, a share auto driver, Paul Pandi, who helped the gang escape was also arrested. The Inspect MKU over invalid degrees EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE FIRING AWAY EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE UGC TOLD TO other six were produced before the Judicial Magistrate Court in Vadipatti and sent to 15-day judicial remand. According to police, the suspects — P Sasikumar (25) of Ariyamangalam, K Karthikeyan (38) of Perambur in Chennai, C Dhanasekaran (37) of Trichy A Raja (34) of Vellore, M , Hariharan (33) of Chennai and G Karthik of Ariyamangalam in Trichy — were going from Tirunelveli to Tiruchy. When they reached Kappalur tollgate on Thursday afternoon, they allegedly refused to pay toll fee and showed an MLA pass. When tollgate employee P Sivanandi claimed it to be a forged one, the gang attempted to flee. However, employees Deepak Deshmuck, Kannan, Rohitkumar and Angush Yadav managed to block the way by placing barricades. The gang then got down from Developments G Karthik alighted from the car and escaped. Sources said one A K Rajupathi (39) of Keelakuyilkudi in Madurai helped the gang to escape. However, when the police team managed to trace down the gang, Raja and Dhanasekaran reportedly attempted to escape and each broke one of their legs, sources said. the car and reportedly started attacking the four. Seeing the remaining staff coming to the rescue of their colleagues, the gang fled, leaving Sasikumar behind. Sasikumar, in a bid to escape from the crowd, pulled out a gun and fired three rounds in the air. Meanwhile, G Karthik alighted from the car and escaped. Sources said one A K Rajupathi (39) of Keelakuyilkudi in Madurai helped the gang to es- cape. However, when police managed to trace down the gang, Raja and Dhanasekaran reportedly attempted to escape and each broke one of their legs, sources said. Except for Karthik, all the six were arrested. Police said the seven persons were booked under Sections 147, 148, 294 (b), 324, 307 of IPC; Sections 3 and 27 of The Arms Act; and Sections 2 and 3 of Explosive Substances Act. THE Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court recommended the UGC to conduct inspection whether all degrees offered by the Madurai Kamaraj University (MKU) were valid. Justice SM Subramaniam made the recommendation while dismissing a petition filed by one S Vani challenging rejection of application for appointment as Post Graduate Assistant in History. The problem was that Vani obtained BA History degree from MKU in a peculiar manner. She had studied BSc, Chemistry in a private college in Aruppukottai for two years and after discontinuing the same, joined BA, History third year (correspondence) in MKU. The judge observed that degrees offered by universities must be in consonance with UGC regulations and those in violation cannot be treated as a valid and such degree holders will not be considered for public appointments. “However, many universities across India are conferring such invalid degrees by cheating students for commercial purposes and UGC remains a mute spectator,” he stated. In order to avoid these illegal activities, UGC ought to organise periodical inspections in respect of validity of degrees conferred by universities, the judge opined. He recommended the Commission to conduct an inspection in MKU and prosecute officials responsible for issuing such invalid degrees. Another petition filed by one Riswana Fathima, who had obtained B.A. Tamil degree by studying History for the first two years and Tamil in the third year, was also dismissed by the judge with a similar direction.
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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