What’s on the cards After revoking of Article 370 and 35A, the exclusive rights of the permanent residents of J&K to buy and sell land were abolished VILLUPURAM FRIDAY DECEMBER 06, 2019 `4.00 PAGES 16 CITY EDITION 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 RBI pauses, takes a grim view of economy Slashes GDP growth forecast for FY20 to 5% from the earlier projection of 7.4% but keeps repo rate unchanged S U N I T H A N AT T I @ Hyderabad THE Reserve Bank of India on Thursday confirmed our worst fears that the country’s economy is withering on the vine, as it revised FY20 GDP growth rate forecast to 5% — a sharp 240 bps lower than February’s 7.4%. However, instead of proceeding with protocol, RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das preferred a ‘temporary pause’ on rate cuts to nip rising inflation in the bud. Retail inflation firmed up to 4.6% in October and, hence, RBI concluded that repo rate of 5.15% is just what is needed. From unequivocally championing the need to support growth, Das’ action, or rather inaction, on Thursday frowned markets with benchmark indices closing in the red. None had expected RBI’s savage call to sit out in the ongoing monetary easing cycle. It’s evident the economy needs urgent help, yet Das refrained from easing up, perhaps proving a point that demand isn’t a function of interest rates alone. They improve sentiments alright, but since the 135 bps reduction proved futile even on a fragile economy like ours, RBI instead passed the baton to fiscal policy to bail out the nation from the brink. Thursday’s status quo may or may not turn out to be Das’ bespoke move, but right now the decision to not summon additional monetary policy levers seems like an outcome borne out of indirection. For, RBI appears clueless on where growth, inflation and interest rates are headed. Hence, the Monetary Policy Committee chose the dominant safe system approach to carefully monitor incoming data before its next strike. So, Das needs only one thing between now and February: clarity Clarity on inflation, particu. larly by when food prices will regain obedience, on interest rate transmission, and on the impact of fiscal reforms. GST collections are disappointing and RBI admitted that a similar scenario in direct taxes and customs duty collections cannot be ruled out. “It’s likely that the government may initiate some more counter-cyclical fiscal measures to arrest the slowdown. The forthcoming Union Budget will provide greater clarity Das reasoned. ,” So, will RBI be overtly worried with a potential breach in fiscal deficit target should government open up the money spigot to re- vive growth? Das gave away little, insisting a synchronised monetary and fiscal policy is needed to hold the economy together. According to the central bank, green shoots were visible from the capex cycle, but the MPC wants to rule out that the noticeable shift in fixed assets isn’t a false dawn. “While these developments are still tentative, they would need to be carefully monitored with incoming data to look out for a durable revival in the capex cycle,” Das said. Meanwhile, RBI has to deal with its own dysfunction of rate transmission by nudging banks to lower lending rates. “More than flare in inflation, lack of transmission of rate cut seems to have been the bigger reason for the rate pause,” said Sujan Hajra, chief economist & executive director, Anand Rathi. CAUTIOUS, BUT OPTIMISTIC Economic activity has weakened further and the output gap remains negative, RBI notes Inflation is rising in the near-term, but it is likely to moderate below target by Q2 of 2020-21 There is monetary policy space for future action, but status quo is the best policy for now Retail inflation projection raised to 5.1-4.7% for the 2nd half of 2019-20 and 4.0-3.8% for 1st half of 2020-21 Real GDP growth revised downwards to 4.9-5.5% in the second half and 5.9-6.3% for the first half of 2020-21 Rape victim set on fire in UP, critical EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi IN HER MEMORY Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami, Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam and ministers paying tributes to former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on the occasion of her third death anniversary in Chennai on Thursday | P JAWAHAR SC reserves order on TN local body polls New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday reserved the order on a fresh plea of the DMK seeking completion of delimitation and reservation process in constituencies before the panchayat and local body elections in Tamil Nadu, but it laced its observation with a mild rebuke that the state government must follow the legal process even if that involved postponement of the local body elections ‘MENTALLY ILL’ Vasectomy done on man sans consent, allege kin A R A V I N D R A J @ Karur IN a shocking case, the family members of a 50-year-old man with ‘mental illness’ have alleged that Kulithalai government hospital doctors performed a vasectomy procedure on him without consent, on Monday While Sathy. an’s family claims he is mentally ill, and was treated at the very same hospital, the Chief Medical Officer refuted the charges. According to sources, Sathyan is one of the five sons of Logambal, a widow and resident of Napalayam. The family members claimed that vasectomy was performed on Sathyan at the camp conducted by the hospital on Monday and that he had come home with a sum of `1,100 cash and plaster on the hand. His mother lodged a complaint with the Kulithalai police saying the operation was forced on him. Chief Medical Officer of GH R Srikanth said, “Sathyan was accompanied by another person to our camp. When we questioned him, he said he was married and has a child. He answered our questions perfectly and did not sound like a mentally ill person, as claimed by his relatives. When I spoke to the psychiatrist at our hospital, he said there were no records of Sathyan getting treatment at any point of time at our hospital, as claimed by his relatives. They are creating a fuss to get compensation from the hospital.” Srikanth also said he had spoken to the DSP regarding the issue and told him to carry out any investigation if needed. The Kulithalai police is yet to file an FIR. Meanwhile, the DSP said he was planning to rope in the Joint Director, Health, to investigate the situation. TWO men under trial for raping a 23-year-old girl last year teamed up with three others while out of jail on bail and set her ablaze on Thursday morning. The incident happened in the Unnao district of Uttar Pradesh. The woman, who is now battling for life after suffering 90 per cent burn, was en-route to a court to attend proceedings in the rape case when she was accosted by the men. Her statement to the police says, soon after she left home, the five men stopped her. They then doused her with petrol and set her on fire. Two of the men were already under trial on charges of abducting and raping her in Dece mber 2018. With her body on fire, she cried for help and ran for a kilometre until passersby noticed her plight and informed the police. She is currently undergoing treatment in the burn unit of the Lucknow Civil Hospital. Doctors say she is in a critical condition. EXPRESS READ US House to begin drafting charges against Trump Speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi on Thursday ordered the House Judiciary Committee to start drafting the articles of impeachment. The articles—a set of charges made against the president— would then be put to vote in the House and need a simple majority to pass. If passed, Trump would stand impeached. Impeachment, although won’t remove Trump from office, may weaken his chances of being reelected | P11 `17 crore to be saved as MPs give up canteen subsidy Subsidies in Parliament canteens are set to go, with leaders cutting across party lines on Thursday agreeing to such a suggestion from Speaker Om Birla and asserting that it is not appropriate to provide such hefty concessions. The waiver of subsidies will result in saving around Rs 17 crore annually, official sources said, adding that many food items will cost almost double than the current prices once the decision comes into effect. 2018 VERDICT ON WOMEN’S ENTRY INTO SABARIMALA NOT FINAL, SAYS CJI The verdict is not final as a larger bench of the Court will hear the review petitions against it, said Chief Justice of India S A Bobde on Thursday. He was hearing a plea filed by a Kerala woman seeking protection to enter the temple | P6 PROTESTING BIFURCATION Villagers threaten to boycott civic polls B A G A L A V A N P E R I E R B @ Villupuram RESIDENTS of Karuvepillaipalayam village staged a protest carrying black flags on Thursday, protesting against their village being added to Kallakurichi district. Demanding the authorities to retain their village in Villupuram district, they threatened to surrender their ration card, Aadhaar card and voter identity card and also boycott the local body polls if their demands are not met. Villagers said they have two police Villagers staging a protest on Thursday station limits in their village and two ration shops. This leads to confusion among people. Following bifurcation, people in Kallakuruchi district have to travel more than 80 km to reach the district headquarters. “Nearly 5,000 people live in Karuvepillaipalayam. Our village falls under four village panchayats - Madapattu, Siruthanur, Siruvalapattu and Kandalavady. After bifurcation of Villupuram district and formation of Kallakurichi district, Kandalavady came under Thiruvennainallur panchayat union in Villupuram district, while other three panchayats, under Thirunavalur panchayat union in Kallakurichi district,” said D GanP5 dhi, a resident. It’s jungleraj: Cong The incident has brought the spotlight back on UP’s Yogi Adityanath government. “The incident is the result of prevailing ‘jungleraj’ in UP,” the Congress party tweeted on Thursday. The AICC general Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra also slammed the Yogi Adityanath government’s record on law and order. While diluting Article 370 of the Constitution in August, the government promised to let people from the rest of India buy land and settle in J&K It appears that the government, is now bowing to strong demands from the Valley, is contemplating steps to protect land ownership rights of the Kashmiris Given the economic backwardness of J&K residents and the unemployment level in the UT, calls to protect the special rights of the residents GOVT TO RESTORE J&K RESIDENTS’ DOMICILE RIGHTS? EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi GIVEN the rising concerns in Jammu & Kashmir about government jobs and land ownership rights being taken away by ‘outsiders’ following abrogation of Article 35A and provisions of Article 370, the Centre might restore the special benefits enjoyed by residents of J&K. Confirming the development, a senior BJP leader from J&K said residents of the newly carved out Union territory are likely to get exclusive domicile status to protect employment and land ownership rights. There has been a growing demand both in the Jammu and the Kashmir Valley that given the economic backwardness and the huge unemployment in J&K, domicile rights of the residents must be protected. The sentiment in the Jammu region has largely been that outsiders may want to reside in Jammu instead of the Valley because of security concerns there. Sources said the concession is likely to be an- nounced soon and work is underway to formulate new rules regarding domicile rights of J&K residents. After revoking Article 370 and 35A, both the separate flag and the Constitution of J&K, in addition to the exclusive rights of permanent residents of J&K to buy/ sell land were abolished. In a recent conversation with this newspaper, PDP patron Muzaffar Beg favoured provisions along the lines of Article 371, which provides protection to residents in hill states such as Uttarakhand and Himachal. The concessions will be along the lines of special privileges given to the people of Nagaland under Article 371A of the Constitution, sources said. Article 371A was enacted in the Constitution to preserve Naga identity and culture. It guarantees special privileges to the Nagas in jobs and land rights. Former J&K deputy CM Kavinder Gupta of the BJP said his party had conveyed the fears of the J&K residents to the party’s central leadership, which promised to consider the same.
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