KOCHI l SATURDAY l OCTOBER 12, 2019 l `7.00 l PAGES 20 l LATE CITY EDITION ETHIOPIA PM WINS NOBEL FOR ENDING CONFLICT Abiy Ahmed Ali was awarded Peace Prize for his efforts to resolve a border dispute with his country’s arch-foe Eritrea OLIVE BRANCH AFTER 20 YEARS OF WAR GREW UP SLEEPING ON THE FLOOR On July 9, 2018, just months after taking charge, Abiy and Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki formally ended a 20-year-old conflict between their countries that started in 1998 over boundary disputes. Taking cognizance of his efforts, the Nobel Committee said, “Abiy Ahmed initiated important reforms that give many citizens hope for a better life” ■ ■ ■ Born into a poor family, Abiy grew up sleeping on the floor in a house that lacked electricity and running water The 43-year-old leader granted amnesty to thousands of political prisoners and ended a media censorship Abiy joined military at a young age, and soon, became spy chief 300 NOMINATIONS WERE RECEIVED FOR 2019 NOBEL PEACE PRIZE 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 Longer than planned dinner as Modi, Xi begin informal talks Body language of both the leaders seen as positive; traditional Tamil Nadu cuisine served to them during their one-on-one dinner; Chennai decks up to give them a rousing welcome C S H I V A K U M A R @ Chennai It’s coconut water pe charcha for Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping at Mahabs on Friday | PTI WHY CHINA PRESIDENT TRAVELLED BY ROAD NO POLITICAL BANNERS, JUST NATIONAL FLAGS Unlike Narendra Modi, why did Xi Jinping opt to travel to Mamallapuram by road instead of a helicopter? Turns out that Chinese leaders, as matter of policy, avoid helicopters. Xi travelled on his Hongqi, a luxury car Chinese heads of state have used since Mao Zedong. The car was flown in from China for the event. Hongqi means the red flag Despite the High Court allowing the government to install banners, there were no cutouts or banners of the leaders en route to Mamallapuram. Barring a few pocket-sized pictures of Jayalalithaa carried by the some party men, there were no party identities. Instead, all of them were seen waving national flags of India and China Marine Drive buildings pollute Vembanad lake E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Kochi WHAT makes the picturesque Marine Drive in Kochi stinking? If you thought it is due to the heaps of garbage on the walkway you are wrong. Blame , it on the sewage and garbage that flow from the residential and commercial buildings along the Marine Drive into the Vembanad lake, polluting the water body and spreading unbearable stench. A report filed by the amicus curiae appointed by the High Court to ascertain the Marine Drive beautification work reveals its sorry plight and the environmental hazard and threat to public posed by the dumping. In his report, Liju V Stephen said as many as 54 buildings were given sanction under the Master Plan of Cochin Marine Drive Scheme, which includes commercial and residential buildings. The amicus curiae inspected many of them. It was found there are no proper and adequate measures for sewage disposal in most of them. As per norms, every building must have its own sewage treatment plant (STP), but as of now, only nine are using the STP facility provided by the Greater Cochin Development Authority (GCDA). “On inspection of certain apartments near the Chinese fishing net bridge, it was found that there’s neither any functional STP nor are they availing the facility provided by the GCDA. Hence, the only option IN THE REPORT n No proper and adequate measures for sewage disposal in most of the buildings at Marine Drive n Large concrete and other pipes are protruding into the Vembanad lake available to them is to drain the sewage into the lake. Large concrete and other pipes are protruding into the lake at various spots of the walkway The foul smell of toi. let waste is emanating from the lake especially in the old walkway area near the Chinese fishing net bridge,” stated the report. ● More on P2 KOHLI LEADS INDIA FROM THE FRONT Virat Kohli broke a slew of records while notching up an unbeaten 254, his highest Test score, on Day 2 of India’s second Test against South Africa in Pune. India declared after posting 601/5 | P14 Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami greeting Xi Jinping | EXPRESS DIPLOMATIC events generally happen with clockwork precision. But a one-on-one dinner Prime Minister Narendra Modi had with visiting Chinese President Xi Jinping at Mamallapuram, which was scheduled to be over by 8.30 pm, exceeded by almost an hour-and-a-half on Friday, leading to speculation on what might have kept them occupied for so long. Of course, the two leaders were treated to Tamil Nadu’s traditional cuisine from Chettinadu to Karaikudi, which included thakkali rasam, sambar, kadalai kuruma and kavannaarasi halwa. But surely there was more than the finger-licking spread that caught their attention and made them wrap up the first day of their two-day informal summit way beyond schedule, analysts wondered. While there was no official comment on the nature of the interactions, foreign office spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted: “Concluding a highly productive day with a pleasant conversation over a long dinner. PM @narendramodi & Chinese President Xi continued their exchange of views on deepening of the India-China partnership over a breathtaking Kalakshetra cultural performance followed by dinner.” India chose Mahabs venue, says MEA Who chose Mahabs for the second informal summit? While media reports earlier had claimed it was China that did the cherrypicking, the foreign office on Friday set the record straight, clarifying it was India that selected the venue. In all, while both the leaders are scheduled to spend about six hours together. Xi will end up spending nearly three hours more for his commute Whatever the takeaways on Day One, Chennai wore a festive look, with people from different walks of life coming together to accord a g rand welcome to Xi and Modi. School students, artists, politicians, and Chinese expatriates lined up along the roads taken by the leaders to reach Mamallapuram, cheering and waving national flags of India and China. Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam were present to welcome both Modi and Xi, who arrived separately . Xi, who arrived around 1.30 pm, retired to ITC Grand Chola Sheraton, before proceeding towards Mamallapuram. Modi, who arrived 15 minutes earlier, flew to Taj Fisherman’s Cove. He was accompanied by External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and NSA Ajit Kumar Doval. At the Mahabs, convoys of NO GRACE PERIOD ECONOMY IN DISTRESS New rules could stifle GST refunds Oil prices rise after Iranian ship attacked J O N AT H A N A N A N D A @ New Delhi CRUDE oil prices spiked again on Friday after a missile attack on an Iranian tanker heightened concerns over military escalation in the West Asian region. But, while Brent crude crossed the $60 per barrel mark soon after the attack, the International Energy Agency’s forecast of significantly lower oil demand due to weakening economic activity this year pulled prices back down again. According to market data, Brent crude (which forms a significant portion of the Indian crude oil basket) shot up 2% on the spot market, going from $59.53 per barrel to $60.65 a barrel after Iranian news agencies reported that a National Iran Tanker Company tanker had been attacked by missiles near the Saudi Arabian port of Jeddah. “Coming after the recent drone attacks, the market reaction was expected,” said a senior executive with a state-run oil firm. Which way crude oil prices trend is critical for India, which imports 80% of its crude oil needs. A $1 rise in crude price could mean a $1.5-2 billion increase in India’s annual import bill. A N U R A D H A S H U K L A & J AYA N TA R O Y C H O W D H U R Y @ New Delhi IN a move that is likely to impact the cash flow of businesses, which are already battling a slowing economy, the government has capped the input tax credit registered entities can claim under GST at 20 per cent. There was no such restriction till now and GST refunds could be claimed on the basis on self assessment. While the government seeks to check false claims and plug revenue leakages by tightening norms, the new rules will increase the workload of assessees. To avail full input credit, the entire eligible “The move will not impact those businesses that regularly check with their vendors. It was initiated after multiple deliberations with tax officials. This will improve compliance,” said a senior finance ministry official. According to Pratik Jain, national leader (indirect taxes) at Pwc India, the move was long overdue. “The government had taken an in-principle decision at the beginning of the GST exercise to place the burden of checking of compliance by vendors on businesses. It could not enforce this initially because of technical glitches. It is doing so now.” Industrial production shrinks to 7-year low IN THE RED FY19 FY20 7.6 5.2 amount must now be supported by relevant invoices uploaded by suppliers. “The idea is to force business houses to get their suppliers to upload their bills and receipts as soon as possible so that they can claim input credit. Time gaps between the two actions mean loose ends and a lot of fake credit claims,” said Sumit Dutt Majumder, former chairman, Central Board of Excise and Customs He noted that the disruptive measure will cause initial hardship to businesses, especially small businesses that do not have the clout to force suppliers to comply with law. 4.8 E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ New Delhi -1.2 Manufacturing -0.9 Electricity -1.1 General Figures are percentage growth over the corresponding period of the previous year PASSENGER VEHICLE SALES DROP FOR 11TH STRAIGHT MONTH IN SEPT PAGE 13 INDUSTRIAL output in August shrank the most in nearly seven years to 1.1% compared with a 4.8% growth in the year-ago period, on the back of a massive slowdown in demand that saw sectors such as automobile posting double-digit fall in sales. According to analysts, the poor show by industry could prompt RBI to again go in for a cut in key policy rates to which bank lending rates have now been linked. “Given that the core sector was also in negative territory this , is no surprise. But even this figure does not take into account the drop in output in the informal sector. The actual final growth figures may be far worse,” said Prof Arun Kumar of the Institute of Social Sciences and formerly of JNU. The manufacturing sector, which contributes 77% to the IIP , showed a 1.2% drop in output against a 5.2% growth a year ago. “It appears pre-stocking due to festive demand in September and October has not taken place. Going forward, the IIP is likely to show erratic, low growth trends,” said Devendra Kumar Pant, chief economist at India Ratings & Research. EXPRESS READ Post-paid mobile services in Kashmir from today Srinagar: Post-paid mobile services in Kashmir are likely to resume from Saturday, 68 days after they were shut down following the Centre’s decision to abrogate Jammu and Kashmir’s special status, officials said on Friday. However, they made it clear that the subscribers will have to wait for some more time for the internet services to resume in the valley. Post-paid mobile services will be resumed in the beginning and the pre-paid services will be resumed later. Saxophone maestro Kadri Gopalnath dead Mangaluru: Renowned saxophone exponent Kadri Gopalnath died at a private hospital here early on Friday, family sources said. Gopalnath, 69, had been ailing for some time. He leaves his wife, two sons and a daughter. He was a Padma Shree awardee and one of the pioneers of music in saxophone in the country | P6 Modi and Xi arrived at a gap of 20 minutes, with the prime minister was dressed in crisp white veshti, shirt and thundu (shoulder cloth). Greeting Xi at the Arjuna’s Penance monument, Modi took him on a guided tour, along with translators, briefing him about the architecture. The two leaders also visited ‘Krishna’s Butter Ball’, a gigantic granite boulder resting on a short incline. The boulder is approximately six metres high and five metres wide and weighs around 250 tons. There was a photo-op there as Modi held Xi’s h a n d s a l o f t , re fl e c t i n g warmth and personal chemistry. “Standing together and t a l l ! , ” R av e e s h K u m a r tweeted. Xi is leading a 90-member delegation, which includes Foreign Minister Wang Yi, Polit Bureau member of Central Committee of Chinese Communist Party Ding Xuexiang and State Councilor Yang Jiechi. Unnao case: No murder charge against BJP MP New Delhi: The CBI on Friday filed a charge sheet against former BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar and his associates for criminal conspiracy and intimidation but dropped murder charges against them in the Unnao rape victim accident case in which two aunts of the girl were killed, officials said. The CBI in its FIR had booked Sengar and nine others under IPC sections related to criminal conspiracy, murder, attempt to murder and criminal intimidation Fresh rules in place to renew driving licence E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Kochi RENEWAL of driving licence will not be a simple task any longer after the Motor Vehicles Department (MVD) issued a new set of guidelines. The new rules, as per the 2019 Motor Vehicles Act, came into force at the start of this month. Validity of a driving licence at present is 20 years and those who want to renew it can apply one year before its date of expiry If the . licence is renewed within one year from the date of expiry, then the applicants need to pay only the normal fee of `200. One year after the expiry date, `1,100 will be charged as fine for every year. Moreover, the applicants will be asked to attend licence competency test, for which `50 should be paid as session fee and `300 as learner’s fee. If a person fails in the competency test, he/she can appear for it only after seven days, but by paying `300 per attempt. The validity of the renewed licence will also be reduced to a maximum of 10 years, based on age. Those who are below 30 will get validity up to the age of 40 while those in the 30-50 age group will get only 10year validity Those in the 50. 55 age group will have validity only till 60. After 55, licence will be renewed only for five years. “Those who want to renew licence should do it before the expiry date. Otherwise, the licence won’t have any validity till it’s renewed and a fine will be imposed for unauthorised use of vehicles without licence,” said a statement issued by the Deputy Transport Commission● More on P5 er’s office. 20 PAGES, INCLUDING 4 PAGES OF KOCHI EXPRESS
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