LATE CITY, 18 PAGES, AHMEDABAD, `3.00 ● MONDAY, FEBRUARY 26, 2018 ● WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM TheIndian EXPRESS DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA Sridevi dies after cardiac arrest in Dubai, funeral likely today Veteran actor was at wedding of a relative, fell ill in hotel room TALK, PAGE 15 There’s Room for Two Sridevi mastered the art of the double role and made it her own EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE MUMBAI, FEBRUARY 25 BUSINESS AS USUAL BY UNNY 9 THE IDEAS PAGE Lawmakers with perks The long list of exemptions has made the office of profit a farce. Need to debate this issue afresh VETERAN ACTOR Sridevi, who acted in over 300 films during a career spanning five decades, died of a cardiac arrest in Dubai in the early hours of Sunday. The 54-year-old, who was awarded the Padma Shri in 2013, was in Dubai for the wedding of Mohit Marwah, a nephew of her husband and film producer Boney Kapoor. Sridevi is survived by Kapoor and their two daughters Janhvi and Khushi. A statement issued on Sunday evening by Sridevi’s family said: “Boney Kapoor, Janhvi, Khushi and the entire Kapoor, Ayyappan and Marwah family is deeply bereaved and shocked by the untimely loss of Sridevi Kapoor.” According to reports, Sridevi was staying at the Jumeirah Emirates Tower hotel, where she suffered a stroke and lost consciousness in the bathroom late on Saturday night. She was rushed to Rashid Hospital, where she was declared dead on arrival. Her body was handed to forensic experts. According to officials at the Indian Consulate in Dubai, Sridevi’s autopsy was conducted Sunday at the Al Qusais Hospital. Her body is expected to be flown to Mumbai on a chartered aircraft Monday morning, and arrangements for her final rites were being finalised late on Sunday night. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 NEW DELHI, FEBRUARY 25 IN ORDER to lift confidence among global investors in India’s business environment, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) plans to weed out yet-to-takeoff ventures from among stalled projects in the country. The recommendation: Label proposals languishing on the drawing board as ‘shelved’ or ‘dropped’ or ‘abandoned’ if the promoters have no further intention to start implementation. Such a move is expected to bring down the number and investment value of stalled projects. As of last month, there were 925 projects with anticipated investment of Rs 13.25 lakh crore that had been marked as ‘implementation stalled’ on Private Economic Databases (PEDs). Of these, the top 100 projects, in terms of monetary value, constituted more than 75 per cent of the total promised investments. “Wherever the project proponents have decided not to pursue the projects, the same should be explicitly stated on the (e-suvidha) portal to help Private Economic Databases (PEDs) to appropriately reclassify the project,” the PMO’s Project Monitoring Group (PMG) said in a communique to several ministries last month. “Continued classification of mere project ideas as ‘implementation stalled’ projects in public domain has been reflecting the CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 SRIDEVI 1963-2018 Unforgettable leading lady and Bollywood’s first female superstar SHUBHRA GUPTA NEW DELHI, FEBRUARY 25 WITH THE passing of Sridevi, we have lost not just a great star. We have lost the part of our innocence which effortlessly conjured up magic cloaks and invisible superheroes: the spell was cast by Miss Hawa Hawaaii, who spun and pirouetted and giraoed bijli, and created a happy symphony for all times. When Shekhar Kapoor’s Mr India came out in 1987, and gave us the immortal Miss Hawa Hawaai, Sridevi was already in need of a makeover. It was in 1983 that she made her real Bollywood splash with the pulpy Himmatwala with Jeetendra, a Hindi film with its NEW DELHI, FEBRUARY 25 IN WHAT amounts to a significant diplomatic outreach to Pakistan, India has invited its Commerce Minister, Pervaiz Malik, to participate in the informal WTO ministerial meeting taking place in Delhi on March 19-20. Malik is said to have confirmed his attendance. The invitation to Malik comes in the wake of the lateDecember secret back-channel negotiations between the two national security advisors, Ajit Doval and Nasser Janjua, first reported in The Indian Express, and takes place after the global Fans outside Sridevi’s residence in Mumbai on Sunday. Vignesh Krishnamoorthy gaudy Telugu roots fully visible. The Mumbai tabloids lost no time in dubbing her, gleefully and unkindly, Thunder Thighs, an ep- 8 THE EDITORIAL PAGE BY CHRISTOPHE JAFFRELOT Financial Action Task Force (FATF) threatened to isolate Pakistan over the weekend if it didn’t stop using terrorism as an instrument of state policy. As the decision to participate in the SAARC summit, to be held in Pakistan, comes up again for consideration by the Centre — India and several other South Asian nations had refused to go last year, ensuring a cancellation ofthe summit — Delhi is planning a more nuanced Pakistan policy than has been seen since the Pathankot attacks two years ago. Diplomatic sources from India and Pakistan have confirmed that the two sides have decided to undertake an ithet that stuck. In the same year came Sadma, the frame-byframe copy of Moondram Pirai, CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 RITIKA CHOPRA THE INDIAN Institutes of Technology (IITs) will corner the largest chunk of loans on offer under the new funding model — Revitalising Infrastructure and Systems in Education (RISE) — for all centrally-run institutes, Proposal to lift two-term limit for President China sets stage for Xi to rule indefinitely ZEESHAN SHAIKH BEIJING, FEBRUARY 25 announced in the Union Budget this month. Under RISE, all centrallyfunded institutes (CFIs), including central universities, IITs, IIMs, NITs and IISERs, can borrow from a Rs 1,00,000 crore corpus over the next four years to expand and build new infrastructure. However, The Indian Express has CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 IN NAGALAND, A US-STYLE COMMON PLATFORM CAMPAIGN IS CLEANING UP ELECTION PROCESS TRACKING CHANGE» DIPANKAR GHOSE DIMAPUR, FEBRUARY 25 EVERY MONDAY For all Change stories, log on to www.indianexpress.com/change Witness Change? Write to us at email@example.com Common Platform: Born in 2012, now active across state voters that have collected from towns and villages. And the banner behind them bears no political affiliation, but carries the name of a student organisation, and nearly always has the words “Clean Election Campaign”. In its quest for an election free of money and other incen- DIAMOND MERCHANT Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi may have planned their exit from the country in November itself, after a new team of officials at the Punjab National Bank’s branch at Brady House in Mumbai — where the alleged Rs 11,400 crore fraud originated — expressed concern on issuing Letter of Credits (LC) and Letters of Undertakings (LoU) to firms associated with them, according to sources. “In November, when there were changes at the Brady House branch of PNB and the new staff members were averse to carrying out fraudulent transactions, the accused planned their exit. Two senior employees, on whose instance the LoUs were issued, left in November itself and are believed to be in Dubai. After (Deputy Manager, PNB, Brady House branch) Gokulnath Shetty’s retirement on January 1, Modi and Choksi, along with their families, fled the country the same week,” said an official linked to the investigation. Investigators had earlier said that Modi and Choksi left the country a day after Shetty’s retirement. While Modi is reported to have left for the United DEEPAK PATEL & ANIL SASI ● PAGE ONE ANCHOR THE LEADERS sit side-by-side on a stage, a large banner behind them, and an eager audience down in front. Each leader gets up to speak, taking turns, in an attempt to sway the crowd. In election season, none of this seems quite out of the ordinary in Nagaland. Except, every leader on the stage is from a different political party, each the candidate from the constituency the meeting is being held in. The audience is not just biased party workers, but Nirav Modi, Choksi planned exit after staff change at PNB in Nov: officials ECONOMY ● KEY POSTS AT IRDAI, RBI STILL VACANT PAGE 13 Punjab CM’s son-in-law among 13 booked for bank fraud EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE States with his brother Nishal, a Belgian citizen, on January 1, his wife, Ami, a US citizen, flew out on January 6. Choksi is believed to have left on January 6. “According to records available with us, Modi and his wife travelled to the US,” said the official. The CBI has also written to at least five banks — Axis Bank, Allahabad Bank, State Bank of India, UCO Bank and Union Bank of India — asking them to share details from their international divisions on buyer’s credit availed by firms which are part of the Modi and Choksi groups. Sources said this has been done to obtain information on buyer’s credit raised through LCs and LoUs by these banks, before the agency launches the formal process of sending Letters Rogatory to foreign countries seeking their assistance in the probe. “Since these are overseas branches of Indian banks from where buyer’s credit was availed, we have written to their Chief CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 NEW DELHI, FEBRUARY 25 THE Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has registered a case against top officials of Simbhaoli Sugars Ltd — one of the largest sugar mills in the country — including its Deputy General Manager Gurpal Singh, who is the son-in-law of Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, for alleged bank loan fraud of Rs 97.85 crore and default of Rs 110 crore. According to the FIR filed by the CBI, there are two loans, both from the Oriental Bank of Commerce, under probe — a Rs 97.85 crore loan which was declared fraud in 2015, and a corporate loan of Rs 110 crore used to repay the previous loan. The second loan was declared NPA (non-performing asset) on November 29, 2016, nearly three weeks after demonetisation of Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 notes was announced. The bank had complained to the CBI on November 17, 2017 but CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Govt shortlisting coal blocks for pvt mining, auction by next March CHINA ON Sunday moved to extend the reign of Xi Jinping as president beyond his term limit of 2023, with the ruling Communist Party’s central committee proposing the removal from the constitution of a clause limiting the presidency to two five-year terms. “The Communist Party of China Central Committee proposed to remove the expression that the President and VicePresident of the People’s Republic of China ‘shall serve no more than two consecutive terms’ from the country’s Constitution,” said an official announcement reported by state news agency Xinhua. China’s constitution currently IITs set to get 25% of govt loans for central institutes NEW DELHI, FEBRUARY 25 The lure of the populists PNB scam accused may have got early warning in November MUMBAI, FEBRUARY 25 JYOTI MALHOTRA AMITAV RANJAN CBI SEEKS DETAILS FROM FIVE BANKS RASHMI RAJPUT ‘Stalled projects’ is India invites Pak for bad optics, so govt WTO talks in Delhi moves to tweak label Suggestion to ministries: Replace with ‘shelved’, ‘dropped’, ‘abandoned’ JOURNALISM OF COURAGE WHY NOW ■ With a number of states going to polls, the EC told SC this month that it has suggested reforms but that will need legislative action. Later, an SC bench ruled that all candidates have to declare the source of their income. tives, Nagaland has come up with “Common Platform”, a US presidential-style exercise CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 NEW DELHI, FEBRUARY 25 FOLLOWING ITS move to open up the coal sector, the NDA government is finalising a shortlist of about a dozen mining blocks that could be offered for commercial mining to private entities in the first round of auctions. The shortlist of coal blocks — nearly all having at least 50 million tonne of reserves — include four mining blocks each in Odisha and Chhattisgarh, and one each in Madhya Pradesh and Jharkhand. By early next month, the Coal Ministry is likely to announce the timeline as well as the final list of mines that will be offered in the first round ofauctions, CONTINUED ON PAGE 2
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