KOCHI l WEDNESDAY l SEPTEMBER 18, 2019 l `7.00 l PAGES 20 l LATE CITY EDITION INDIA WILL TAKE CONTROL OVER PoK, SAYS S JAISHANKAR NATIONAL SECURITY MEETS FOREIGN POLICY “PoK is a part of India and we expect one day we will have physical jurisdiction over it,” the external affairs minister said HOUSTON RALLY A MESSAGE TO PAKISTAN Addressing his first press conference after taking over as minister in May, Jaishankar said one of the key achievements of the Modi 2.0 government in its first 100 days has been a strong connection between national security and foreign policy goals. He said India’s ability and appetite to shape the foreign agenda today is much more than before ■ ■ “In big debates like G20, BRICS, Indian views are now heard more clearly,” the external affairs minister said On US President Donald Trump attending PM Modi’s event in Houston, Jaishankar said, “There are multiple messages there. Obviously, it is for Pakistanis to read what they read into it” 1972 SINCE THEN, INDIA’S STAND ON KASHMIR HAS BEEN CONSISTENT 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 Uncertainty over the oil situation following drone attack on Saudi Aramco spooks bourses, forces foreign institutional investors to pull out H800 crore in a single day, drags the value of rupee against the dollar Hot oil spills over to stock markets E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ New Delhi THE uncertainty over oil prices due to the war-like situation in West Asia dragged the stock markets Tuesday with the Sensex falling 642.22 points and the Nifty dropping 185.9 points. The day also saw foreign institutional investors pull out `800 crore from Indian markets, displaying lack of confidence on the Indian bourses. There was a broad-based selling in the markets, and among the 30 bluechip stocks in the Sensex only Hindustan Unilever, Asian Paints and Infosys stayed in the green. Global markets are now weighing on reaction from the US and other oil-producing countries on how to fill the Saudi oil shortfall caused by a drone attack over the weekend on Saudi-Aramco facilities. The spike in crude oil prices because of the attack and statements by the US, Iran and Saudi Arabia, saw Indian oil companies effect the largest hike in retail petrol and diesel prices since Budget day on July 5. Petrol prices rose 14 paise and diesel by 15 paise a litre in Delhi, standing at `72.17 and `65.58 a litre, respectively . The rupee, too, fell sharply against the dollar for the second day running. Opening at 71.83 per dollar, the rupee fell to a low of 71.97. The fall was caused by the FII pullout. “Weaker currency tends to trigger FII outflow and vice-versa, too,” said Sanjay Bhattacahryya, former MD of SBI. This means the two are often a cause and effect of each other. It can also create a vicious circle, where investors will sell out because of global or domestic reasons causing a fall in the currency value, which could then result in further sales by foreign investors in India’s stock markets. It is not just foreigners who are taking their money elsewhere. RBI data on the liberalised remittance scheme for resident Indians showed the highest ever monthly outflow of $1.69 billion in July . Meanwhile, global crude oil prices began cooling Tuesday evening after some reports said Saudi would restore production sooner than expected. Most companies are now hoping that the festive season would bring some cheer back to their revenue streams. Consumer mood surveys suggest people will loosen their purse strings during the upcoming festive season as they have in previous years. Discounts and other enticing offers both online as well as in bricks-andmortar retail space could lure customers open their wallets. “We are hopeful this year’s festive offers will provide a huge boost to buyers’ morale,” said S N Barman, vice president, Tata Motors. Sep 16 OIL’S NOT WELL SILVER LINING Global oil prices cool 5% after fresh reports said Saudi will restore Sep 17 of production in three weeks FESTIVAL BOOST 70 per cent Sep 13 $60.22 B I G L OSS BSE Sensex crashes 642.22 points to 36,481.09; Nifty below 11k-level Rupee down 18 paise to settle at 71.78 against the dollar Investor wealth shrinks L2.72 lakh crore in two days of market fall T H E B I G D R O P Drop in average consumer spend Fall in mobiles Drop in fashion items 21% 17% 16% Device stolen from Vikrant at shipyard MARADU FLATS Govt exploring legal options to stop demolition E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ T’Puram CHIEF Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who convened an all-party meeting at the Secretariat here on Tuesday to discuss the Maradu flat issue, said the state government would do ‘everything legally possible’ to protect the flat dwellers and also seek the Union government’s help to resolve the imbroglio. Pinarayi told the meeting that the Union government is empowered to make certain relaxations in environment rules. He hoped the Centre would use this option to protect the flat dwellers. The CM said he had spoken to Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar about the issue. The onus of appraising the Supreme Court of the environment impact of demolishing the flats now rests with the Centre, he added. The state government wants the Centre to implead in the case. The state will seek the services of a renowned lawyer of the Supreme Court to appear on its behalf in the case. If needed, an all-party delegation will be sent to take up the matter with the Centre. All efforts to avoid demolition of the flats would be carried out by keeping ● More on P3 the SC in the know, he said. The construction of the ship has not entered the advanced stage and there is nothing to worry about the alleged theft Commander Sridhar Warrier, Defence spokesperson E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Kochi THE national agencies have launched a detailed probe after an electronic digital device was found missing from the country’s first indigenous aircraft carrier Vikrant in a major security breach. The police said the incident occurred at the Cochin Shipyard’s high-security zone where the vessel is being constructed. Vikrant is scheduled to be inducted into the Indian Navy in 2021. Kerala police chief Loknath Behera told Express that a special investigation team has been formed to probe the incident considering its gravity . Kochi City Additional Police Commissioner K P Philip said a case was registered based on a complaint lodged by the shipyard authorities on Monday The police, . however, refused to divulge the details of the device and confirm whether it was a theft. Preliminary probe revealed the device was found in the vessel till August 28. Shipyard company secretary V Kala said a theft was reported from Vikrant on Monday and they have lodged a complaint with the police. “We do have necessary security as the CISF is guarding the facility . We don’t know how the theft took place. Let’s wait for the police report,” said Kala, who added she could not divulge more details as it was a highly sensitive security is● More on P6 sue. FLYOVER GRAFT Arrest looms over ex-min Ebrahim Kunju A J AY K A N T H @ T’Puram THE Vigilance Department is closing in on former PWD minister V K Ebrahim Kunju in the Palarivattom flyover graft case after collecting vital evidence of his role. A decision on his arrest is likely to be taken at a high-level meeting in the next couple of days. The Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau (VACB) has been facing criticism for being slow in acting against Ebrahim Kunju, but a source told Express that the senior officers have been verifying the documents before making the next move. Ebrahim Kunju, a Muslim League MLA representing Kalamassery had , welcomed the probe into the irregularities in the flyover construction. INCHING CLOSER ● The Vigilance Department collects vital evidence ● Senior officers have been verifying the documents before making the next move ● A decision on his arrest is likely to be taken at a high-level meeting in the next couple of days VACB Superintendent of Police V G Vinod Kumar, who is heading the investigation, said: “Our probe is based on documents. We’ve seized several documents in the past couple of days and are verifying them. We’re CONSUMERS TURN SPENDTHRIFT Once considered ‘recession-proof’, online shopping experienced a dip in first half of 2019, according to research firm Kantar $69.02 also in the process of collecting more documents. Necessary action will be taken accordingly .” As the PWD minister in the previous Oommen Chandy government, Ebrahim Kunju was the de-facto chairman of the Roads and Bridges Development Corporation of Kerala (RBDCK), which oversaw the flyover project and he used to attend all its board meetings. “Ebrahim Kunju, as works minister, had signed and approved the file generated by the PWD for sanctioning mobilisation advance of `8.25 crore to RDS Project Ltd, violating rules,” said a source. T O Sooraj, who was then PWD principal secretary (2012-2014), has already been arrested for his alleged involvement in the ● More on P4 graft. $63.96 Average ticket price also dropped, which means consumers are spending less on each purchase occasion Amazon lines up 5 lakh sellers for the upcoming season, against 3.8L sellers onboarded last year Dues from PSUs blamed for stress in Mumbai firm E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ New Delhi IN a sign of the huge liquidity crisis facing the economy , Hindustan Construction Company Ltd, a Mumbai-based public-private entity, is struggling to get a whopping `6,070 crore in dues from top public sector undertakings (PSUs) as arbitration awards. The PSUs that were yet to pay up include the National Highways Authority of India, National Hydro Power Corporation, National Thermal Power Corporation, Ircon International and the National Institution for Transforming India. In a petition filed in the Supreme Court, HCC said because of the non-payment of the dues, the company was facing a financial crisis that “could destroy the shareholders value and (making the company) face insolvency proceedings”. EXPRESS READ Yesteryear ‘villain’ Sathar passes away Kochi: Actor Sathar, who made his mark in Malayalam cinema with his negative roles during a career spanning more than four decades, passed away at Aluva on Tuesday. Sathar, 67, who returned to the industry in 2012 after a brief hiatus to perform small but significant roles, has been undergoing treatment for a liver problem at a private hospital in Aluva. P6 Shah: Multi-party system failed to deliver? New Delhi: In what could trigger a new debate, Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Tuesday raised questions over the multi-party system in democracy, saying people were wondering whether the vision of the founding fathers of the Constitution had really been realised. 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