TheIndian EXPRESS LATE CITY, 18 PAGES, KOLKATA `4.00 (`12 IN NORTH EAST STATES & ANDAMAN) ● THURSDAY, MARCH 1, 2018 ● WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA Growth 7.2% in Oct-Dec, fastest in five quarters HELD AT CHENNAI AIRPORT, FLOWN TO DELHI ENS ECONOMIC BUREAU QUARTERLY GDP DEEPTIMAN TIWARY & ABHISHEK ANGAD THE COUNTRY’S gross domestic product(GDP)grewatthefastest pace in five quarters at 7.2 per cent in October-December, as against 6.5 per cent in the previous quarter and 6.8 per cent in thesameperiodlastyear,helped by a sharp pickup in the services sector and a rebound in agriculture and manufacturing. Thesecondadvanceestimate, released by Central Statistics Office (CSO) on Wednesday, showed that the overall GDP growth rate for 2017-18 is estimated to inch up marginally to 6.6 per cent from the first advanceestimateof 6.5percentre- 2017-18 2016-17 April-June 5.7% 8.1% July-Sept 6.5% 7.6% Oct-Dec 7.2% 6.8% JOURNALISM OF COURAGE NEW DELHI, FEBRUARY 28 leased last month, but would be the lowest growth in four years. GDP growth rate for JulySeptemberwasrevisedupwards to 6.5 per cent from the earlier estimate of 6.3 per cent, according to the data released. The country had recorded GDP growth of 7.1 per cent in the previous financial year. Manufacturing, construction, CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 CBIarrestsKartiChidambaramin INXcase,Congsaysit’svendetta DEEPTIMAN TIWARY & ABHISHEK ANGAD NEW DELHI, FEBRUARY 28 Karti Chidambaram in New Delhi. Prem Nath Pandey counselVKSharmahandedaremand application which stated: “KartiChidambaramhadnotcooperatedwiththeinvestigation... CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 INVESTIGATION AGENCIES said thearrestof KartiChidambaram followedastatementbyaccused Indrani Mukerjea in which she hadallegedthatPChidambaram, while he was Union Finance Minister, had asked her and her husband Peter Mukerjea to help his son’s business. In her statement recorded by the CBI under Section 164 of the CrPC, Indrani Mukerjea, who is 13 EXPLAINED Decade-old case of INX Media already behind bars in the Sheena Bora murder case, allegedthatadealof USD1million was struck between Karti and CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Basic Rafale 2016 costs less than 2007, weapons extra: Officials Govt does not intend to buy more Rafale fighters anytime soon, say sources SUSHANT SINGH NEW DELHI, FEBRUARY 28 The Indian Express Wishes Its Readers A Happy Holi We are closed today. There will be no edition of the paper on Friday, March 2, 2018. BUSINESS AS USUAL BY UNNY THENDAgovernmentnegotiated procurement of 36 Rafale fighter jets from France, under a government-to-governmentdeal in2016,forapricelowerthanthe one negotiated by the previous UPA government under a commercial bid by Dassault Aviation, top government sources have told The Indian Express. Sourcessaidthatthefigureof Rs 525 crore or approximately Euro 79 million per Rafale aircraft which Opposition partieshavebeenciting—theyhave claimed that the NDA government paid more than what Dassault Aviation had quoted earlier — is based on the manufacturer’s 2007 bid at the then exchangerate(IEuro=Rs66.60). This, sources said, was the NEW RAFALE 2007 BID `765.4 cr (IN 2015, AS PER ESCALATION PLAN & 2015 EXCHANGE RATE) 2016 `696 cr (2015 EXCHANGE RATE) EXTRA COST Weaponry €710mn Spares €1800mn Weatherterrainfits €1700mn LogisticsSupport €353mn cost of a “bare” Rafale, without weapons, avionics, radars, missiles and other specific customisations for the IAF. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Prasar Bharati vs I&B again: DD says no to Rs 2.92 cr for pvt firm CBI quotes Indrani: PC asked us to help his son NEW DELHI, FEBRUARY 28 KARTI CHIDAMBARAM, son of senior Congress leader and former Union Finance Minister PChidambaram,wasarrestedby the CBI Wednesday in connection with its probe into the INX Media case. Flown to New Delhi from Chennai airport where he was held shortly after he stepped off a flight from the UK, Karti was produced before Metropolitan Magistrate Sumeet Anand who directed the CBI to present Karti beforethesessionscourtof Sunil Rana at 2.30 pm Thursday. Seeking Karti’s custody, CBI BILL FOR FILM FESTIVAL CEREMONIES No request made to US for F-35 fighter jet, says IAF chief NEW DELHI, FEBRUARY 28 CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 EXPRESS NETWORK LIZ MATHEW & KRISHN KAUSHIK ● I&B FIRES NFDC NEW DELHI, FEBRUARY 28 THE FACEOFF between the Information and Broadcasting Ministry and Prasar Bharati over the latter’s autonomy on hiring and firing has now spilled into financial matters. Doordarshan (DD), under Prasar Bharati, has rejected repeateddemandsoftheNational Film Development Corporation (NFDC) — which falls under I&B Ministry—topayRs2.92croreas expensestoaMumbai-basedprivate firm that arranged for live coverageoftheopeningandclosing ceremonies of the 2017 InternationalFilmFestivalofIndia. Doordarshan claims there was “no rationale nor any prece- MANAGING DIRECTOR, P5 dent” to outsource the job since it had been doing this all these years and had the “in-house” capability to telecast the ceremonies live. Responding to a Right to Information application filed by The Indian Express, NFDC said, on February 9, that the contract for the opening and closing ceremonies as well as for the red carpet was awarded to SOL Productions Pvt Ltd. It did not, however, disclose the financial CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Stop wilful defaulters from leaving country: Home to Immigration SUSHANT SINGH THE INDIAN Air Force (IAF) has denied that it has shown explicit interest in procuring the American F-35 Lightning II aircraftforitsdepletingfighterfleet. The reports about IAF approaching Lockheed Martin for a classified briefing on the F-35 came amid news that the governmenthas IAF Chief B S Dhanoa decided to scrap the proposal to make a singleengine foreign fighter in India. “Wehavenotofficiallyasked for a briefing on the F-35 nor has any request been made to the The 2017 IFFI was held in Goa in November. File AMITAV RANJAN NEW DELHI, FEBRUARY 28 FINAL JOURNEY Sridevi’s husband Boney Kapoor at her funeral in Mumbai on Wednesday. Prashant Nadkar REPORT, PAGE 10 RED-FACED over diamantaire Nirav Modi slipping out of the country, the Ministry of Home Affairs last Friday directed the Bureau of Immigration not to allow promoters of companies thathavedefaultedontheirbank loans to leave the country. “They have been told not to allow them through the emigration check point and to turn them back,” sources said. “No arrests have to be made.” These persons, they said, would be allowed to travel only when the individual submits a court order permitting him or her to travel abroad for a specific purpose, mainly for medical treatment.However,forsuchrelaxation, the identified defaulters would have to pledge a collateral and indemnify that their familymemberswouldresidein thecountryduringtheirabsence. Sources said the direction was issued after the Reserve Bank of India provided the list of defaulters that was handed to the Ministry of External Affairs for providing their passport details. The names and their passport numbers were sent to the Bureau earlier this month, said sources. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Vlasof Cay IITs, univs show dip in world ranks subject-wise EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, FEBRUARY 28 INDIA HAS slipped in the world university rankings again, with the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) seeing an overall dip in performance across at least 25 subjects, according to the QS World University Rankings 2018 announced on Wednesday. While the premier engineering schools have secured 80 rankingsacross48subjects,their performance has dropped in 25 casesasagainstanimprovement in only five cases. The overall picture worsens if the performance of the Indian Institute of Science(IISc),Bengaluru,istaken into consideration — 33 cases of adipinrankingsagainstonlyfive improvements. While IISc has figured in 14 subjectrankings,itsperformance in 11 subjects has registered a dropwhencomparedtolastyear. Views that make your heart leap I know just the place Discover the best of Queensland with Singapore Airlines and SilkAir BRISBANE | CAIRNS From 48,000 Economy Class, All-in return Start your Queensland holiday in the vibrant capital Brisbane, or visit Gold Coast for its adrenalin pumping attractions and world class sporting events, like the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games taking place from 4 to 15 April 2018. Alternatively, escape to luxurious Hamilton Island in The Whitsundays or dive deep into adventure in Cairns, the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef. 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Indian Express Limited is an Indian news media publishing company. It publishes several widely circulated dailies, including The Indian Express and The Financial Express in English, the Loksatta in Marathi and the Jansatta in Hindi.