SOME OF THE INDICATORS USED FOR GDP ESTIMATES THE PM INDIA NEVER HAD Former President Pranab Mukherjee loses battle for life at Delhi’s Army hospital; was seen as the encyclopaedia of contemporary Indian history; was accorded the Bharat Ratna in 2017 S A N T W A N A B H AT TA C H A R YA P prised even veteran analysts by being a textbook President. Never overstepping the boundaries of constitutional proprieties and his own inclusive, democratic moorings. Unlike a Zail Singh or K R Narayanan, Mukherjee did not see Rashtrapati Bhawan as an oppositional space to government. That’s why he could straddle the transition from UPA to NDA, from Manmohan Singh to Narendra Modi, without a glitch. No surprise he was accorded the highest civilian award of th e lan d, th e much coveted He has left an indelible mark on the development trajectory of our nation. A scholar par excellence, a towering statesman, he was admired across the political spectrum and by all sections of society TAPAS RANJAN RANAB Mukherjee was the prime minister that India never had. Instead, he became President—the 13th in India’s line, bringing a rare political gravitas to that role. But it was the other office, that of the highest executive, that destiny seemed to have held out for him more than once—and ultimately denied. Not because he lacked stature, statesmanship or political heft. If there was one thing he lacked, it was the direct connect of the mass leader, but then he was almost the perfect embodiment of the other kind of politician—the savant, policy maven and parliamentarian in whom the spirit of institutions seemed to find their fullest expression. Often fondly called the encyclopaedia of contemporary Indian history, current affairs and constitutional norms, Mukherjee, who died after a chest infection and long related illnesses at Delhi’s Army Referral Hospital on Monday, indeed leaves a void in Indian polity never to be filled. A , man who could be the accessible Pranabda to all and sundry, and still inspire awe and respect—the eminence grise who could admonish anyone and everyone, whenever he thought it fit. When he took oath as President in July 2012—a long way from his humble village in Birbhum, West Bengal, where he walked miles through rice fields to reach his PRANAB MUKHERJEE school—he was expected to be a ‘political’ president. But he sur- Bharat Ratna in 2017. However, nor was it the case that he had retreated into a grand mansion of silence. If he chose to intervene, it was not by returning legislation passed by Parliament, like some of his predecessors. Having been on the other side, he knew the sanctity of that space. Instead, he used his constitutionally mandated speeches as President to point to aberrations —thus becoming a vital stabilising figure at a very transitional time. In that sense, much Narendra Modi, Prime Minister ● 11 DECEMBER 1935 ● 31 AUGUST 2020 like A B Vajpayee, Mukherjee was a child, a byproduct of parliamentary democracy He truly be. lieved in the power of debate. He was, indeed, very pained and disturbed in his last years about the decline in parliamentary functioning, its image, centrality and prestige. A quintessential Congress politician, Mukherjee was neither above contradiction nor a stranger to the little intrigues of Delhi politics. He, after all, was witness to several transitions, the Emergency, two assassinations, liberalisation, et al. Though it was the Congress and a reluctant Sonia who let him make an honourable transition to presidentship, he nurtured the hurt of having been passed up for the PM’s job. Once, after Indira Gandhi, when her son Rajiv succeeded her, and not Mukherjee, then the seniormost Cabinet minister. Later, twice, as Sonia chose Manmohan Singh over him in 2004, and did not deem it fit to even make him Home Minister, and when she continued with Singh despite UPA’s dwindling reputation. He had to nearly engineer an escape to Rashtrapati Bhavan lest he be stuck in a party with a generation closer to his daughter Sharmistha’s age group, some of whom had neither the savvy nor the humbleness to learn the ropes. No one, however, understood his mind as much as Sonia, who once famously said she couldn’t think of a CWC meeting without “Pranabda”. PLA bid to change LAC status quo foiled M AYA N K S I N G H A N D P U S H K A R B A N A K A R @ New Delhi Bank of Pangong Tso Lake. Indian troops pre-empted and thwarted Chinese attempts to unilaterally change the situation on the ground. However, there was no clear word on whether or not there was any contact or clash between the two sides. “We expect retaliatory action. We are ready said another officer. The ,” Indian side called for a Brigade Commander level flag meeting at Chushul to resolve the issue. For its part, China blamed India for the tension. Colonel Zhang Shuili, spokesperson of the Western Theater Command at Chengdu, said, “The Hunan coast and the nearby Reqin mountain pass once again illegally crossed the line and took control, blatantly provoking and causing tension on the border... China strongly opposes this. (sic)” A fresh confrontation is brewing in Eastern Ladakh with the Indian Army thwarting China’s attempted ingress at a new point to change status quo on the intervening night of August 29 and 30. Army spokesperson Colonel Aman Anand revealed the Chinese Army “carried out provocative military movements to change the status quo”. “PLA troops violated previous consensus arrived at during military and diplomatic engagements during the ongoing stand-off in Eastern Ladakh,” he added. A senior Army officer added, “We were alert to such a step by the Chinese Army as even after a huge mobilsation of troops and equipment they have not been able to make much shift in the Line of Actual Control. With winter approaching things will become even more difficult for them.” Sources said nearly 200 PLA troops accompanied with the armoured vehicles were part of the attempted ingress on the Southern Tough talk but token penalty for contempt Kin of Covid-19 patients to get real-time SMS updates K A N U S A R D A @ New Delhi E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Vijayawada THE Supreme Court on Monday imposed a token fine of `1 on senior advocate Prashant Bhushan after his conviction for contempt of court for his two tweets criticising the present Chief Justice of India (CJI) and his predecessors and said it was not afraid of either sentencing or debarring him from practice. Hours later, Bhushan said he will respectfully pay the penalty while reserving the right to seek review of the conviction and sentencing. A three-judge bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra while reading out the verdict said, “We are not afraid of sentencing the contemnor either with imprisonment or from debarring him from the practice.” DOCS TO GET IN-SERVICE QUOTA The SC said MCI cannot make regulations on reservation for inservice candidates for PG seats Army trucks move towards Ladakh via the Leh– Manali Highway, on Monday | PTI can also be checked on our website using an OTP sent to the number AMID complaints that coronavirus given by the patient. We are allowing infectees’ relatives are not being in- access through only one phone numformed of the patients’ health status, ber due to privacy concer ns,” Commissioner for Health and Fami- Bhaskar said. ly Welfare Katamaneni Bhaskar on Meanwhile, the state government Monday said real-time has told private laboratoupdates will be given to ries to immediately stop Labs without the kin of patients hospi- permission must testing samples for corotalised for Covid-19. stop testing: Govt navirus unless they have Doctors will upload depermission to do so. It tails under the ‘Patient The state government also war ned them to Status’ tab of the ‘Matru has warned private labs strictly adhere to the preto immediately stop Sisu Samrakshana’ webscribed fee structure. testing samples for site, and based on this, In a note issued on the patient’s condition coronavirus unless they Monday the government , will be categorised as ei- have permission to do said it had received sevther ‘stable’ or ‘unsta- so. Labs are allowed to eral complaints regardble’, and an SMS will be charge only up to `750 ing unauthorised labs to test each sample sent to a relative. At the conducting tests and time of admission, each ch argin g e xorb it an t patient will have to provide a phone amounts. The notice mentioned that number of a relative who will receive each lab must have permission from real-time updates on his/her status. the National Accreditation Board for “Attendants are not allowed in the Testing and Calibration LaboratoCovid-19 ward... So every day, the ries and the state nodal officer for condition of patients will be assessed Covid-19. The managements of labs by a duty doctor and entered on a with the requisite permission should software that will send alerts to the send their certificates to ceoap@yspatients’ relatives. The health status raarogyasri.ap.gov.in. AP VIRAL WATCH 85 new deaths 10,004 8,772 56,490 new cases new recoveries new samples tested -100 Crude oil 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 -56.8 -80 Coal TADEPALLIGUDEM l TUESDAY l SEPTEMBER 01, 2020 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l CITY EDITION -84.8 -15.8 5.6 -43.3 -22.4 -40.7 Metallic minerals -38.3 -60 9.6 17.9 2.4 Electricity -40 -9.5 7.3 3 Manufacturing -6.8 Steel -20 1 11.9 Mining -15 0 10.4 Bank credits -6.5 5 Bank deposits 2.6 Cement 20 FY21 Q1 Commercial vehicles FY20 Q1 Sharpest-ever first quarter shrink in GDP S U N I T H A N AT T I revisions to toss shocking de-growth grenades later. Policy watcher Proof Anil NDIA’S first quarter GDP shrunk to a Sood offers some proof. Take inventory , level unknown in our economic his- which should have seen depletion betory At 23.9%, it’s the sharpest con- cause production was shut for two . traction since 1996 when we began bean- months. Instead, it recorded a quarterly counting quarterly data. Assuming a increase similar to last year at about 5-6% trendline growth, the effective out- `60,000 crore. Ditto consumption spendput loss is upwards `10 lakh crore. That’s ing, which Sood thinks could be sharper the national output lost, perhaps, forev- than what’s captured in Monday’s provier, as Covid-19 cut the economy fiercer sional estimates. than a Samurai blade. Moreover, given the unglamIn absolute numbers, real orous state of the July core Third-worst GDP punched in at `26.9 lakh sector data, chances are we figures in the crore, down from `35 lakh are already in a recession world so far crore last year. Worryingly, though the official word will nominal GDP -- widely used in be out only in November. In India’s figures are govermment estimates -- connearly seven decades, we’ve the third-worst tracted 20.6% or from `44.8 seen only four years of negaamong 50-plus lakh crore to `35.6 lakh crore. tive growth, but economic countries that Just as misfortune conpundits are entering heavy have released spires with bad luck during their GDP numbers discussions not about recescrises, several key metrics sion (which they seem certain so far. Analysts pounded each other into the of), but when the worst will be found the impact ground leaving Asia’s thirdbehind us, so recovery can of the lockdown largest economy in a quickbegin. way higher than sand with both demand and Chief economic adviser K V anticipated supply side contraction servSubramanian concluded that ing as witnesses. India was experiencing a VOn the supply side, all but agriculture shaped recovery with high frequency saw de-growth with some like construc- indicators like rail freight and power tion, manufacturing and services con- consumption showing promise. But even tracting indecently at 40-50%. Demand with some improvements in next three side too mirrored this with investments quarters, several believe, FY21 growth shrinking 47%, while consumer spend- FY21 could be beyond -5%. ing contracting 26%. Like in the past, The choice for the government will be government expenditure saved the day whether consumption or investment with 16.4% growth, still it’s an impolite side needs to be pushed. Given the limincrease given the pandemic and the sov- ited fiscal space and the need to stimuereign’s role of riding to everyone’s res- late growth, economists believe a decue. That said, excluding government mand or consumption-led recovery is spending, GDP would have contracted crucial for the economy, but that reeven worse by 30%. quires government measure to arrest But economists believe the latest data job losses and increase disposable inFULL COVERAGE: P10 betrays the inferno inside as they expect comes. I
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01-09-2020 of The New Indian Express-Tadepalligudem