LATE CITY, 22 PAGES, AHMEDABAD, `3.00 ● FRIDAY, MARCH 30, 2018 ● WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM TheIndian EXPRESS DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA JOURNALISM OF COURAGE Rs 58.9 CRORE FINE IMPOSED RBI slaps ICICI Bank with heavy penalty for flouting guidelines Non-compliance with directions on treasury ops, says RBI ENS ECONOMIC BUREAU MUMBAI, MARCH 29 ANNUAL EXPRESS POWER LIST THE 100 MOST POWERFUL INDIANS, 2018 WITH TODAY’S COPY OF THE INDIAN EXPRESS 4 GUJARAT CAG PULLS UP GOVT OVER ILLEGAL MINING ● Energy minister rules out future of of gas plants, PAGE 3 13 The Indian Express report on Thursday BUSINESS AS USUAL BY UNNY penalty that the RBI has imposed for various violations in recent years was Rs 5 crore — Bank of Baroda was fined Rs 5 crore in 2016 for lapses in the Rs 6,000 crore forex-related illegal transactions. Many banks, which are reeling under huge bad loans, had suffered losses recently due to the sharp rise in yields on gov- CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Kochhar was on panel that cleared Videocon loan: Bank chairman ENS ECONOMIC BUREAU MUMBAI, MARCH 29 ON THE day The Indian Express reported about ICICI Bank’s Rs 3,250-crore loan to Videocon Group whose owner Venugopal Dhoot later offered a sweetheart deal to the husband of bank MD and CEO Chanda Kochhar, bank chairman M K Sharma said Kochhar was part of the credit committee which sanctioned the loan but did not recuse herself from the committee. “The board doesn’t believe it represents a conflict as Videocon Group is not an investor in NuPower Renewables. Hence, there was no need for Chanda Kochhar to recuse herself from the committee,” Sharma said at a conference addressing TV channels Thursday. Indicating that regulators (the RBI) had intervened in the issue, Sharma said the bank had satisfactorily replied to all questions of the regulators. He said it’s an ongoing process. “However, it’s privileged communication, so the company cannot share specific details about queries by the Chanda Kochhar, CEO & MD, ICICI Bank regulator,” he said. An investigation by The Indian Express showed that in December 2008, Venugopal Dhoot of the Videocon Group set up a company called NuPower Renewables Pvt Ltd (NRPL) with Deepak Kochhar, husband of Chanda Kochhar, and two of her relatives; then gave a Rs 64-crore loan to this company through a fully owned entity before he transferred the latter’s ownership to a trust headed by Deepak Kochhar for just Rs 9 lakh. The transfer of the company to Deepak Kochhar happened six months after the Videocon Group got a loan of Rs 3,250 crore from ICICI Bank, raising questions of propriety and conflict of interest. Almost 86 per cent of that loan (Rs 2,810 crore) has remained unpaid and CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 UP adds ‘Ramji’ to Ambedkar name in records, Oppn fumes LALMANI VERMA & MAULSHREE SETH EXPLAINED How new GSLV launch boosted India’s second mission to Moon 14 WORLD IN ONE of the heaviest monetary levies by a regulator on a bank for violation of regulations in recent years, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) imposed a penalty of Rs 58.9 crore on ICICI Bank for violating the central bank’s guidelines governing treasury operations. The RBI said the penalty was imposed for non-compliance with directions on direct sale of securities from its HTM (heldto-maturity) portfolio and its disclosure. “This action is based on the deficiencies in regulatory compliance and is not intended to pronounce upon the validity of any transaction or agreement entered into by the bank with its customers,” the RBI said in a statement. Banks have to mandatorily keep 19.5 per cent of their deposits in government securities as statutory liquidity ratio (SLR) under RBI guidelines. According to the RBI, this penalty has been imposed in exercise of powers vested in the RBI under provisions of Section 47A(1)(c) of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949, taking into account the failure of the bank to adhere to directions/guidelines issued by the RBI. The maximum ernment securities in the last one year. When bond yields rise, securities’ prices fall and banks incur losses in their securities portfolio. In fact, banks have been selling securities from their portfolio and the appetite for new securities also waned. RBI guidelines require banks to classify investments into three categories — Held For Trading (HFT), Available For Sale (AFS) and Held to Maturity (HTM). Securities acquired by the banks with the intention to hold them till maturity can be classified under HTM. If the value of sales of securities from HTM category exceeds 5 per cent of the HTM investments, banks are required to disclose in the audited annual financial statements, the market value of the HTM investments and indicate the excess of book value over market value. “The RBI has imposed a penalty on the bank for continued sale of government securities classified as HTM. ICICI Bank had continued with the sales from HTM category for a few weeks during the quarter ended March 31, 2017, due to a genuine misunderstanding on the timing of the applicability of the RBI’s direction in this matter,” ICICI Bank said. According to RBI guidelines, the bank had disclosed in its annual report for FY2017 that it had NORTH, SOUTH KOREA TO HOLD SUMMIT AFTER SIX YEARS, MALALA GOES TO PAKISTAN NEW DELHI, LUCKNOW, MARCH 29 THE YOGI ADITYANATH government has decided to change the name ofDr Bhimrao Ambedkar to ‘Dr Bhimrao Ramji Aambedkar’ in government and court records, invoking criticism from the Opposition and the icon’s grandsons. While ‘Ramji’ will be added as the middle name, ‘Ambedkar’ will be changed to ‘Aambedkar’ when written in Hindi. In English, it will still be spelt as ‘Ambedkar’. Principal Secretary (state general administration) Jitendra Kumar issued a circular in this regard on Tuesday to all departments and registrar of Allahabad and Lucknow benches ofthe high court. In another order issued Thursday, the government made it compulsory for all its offices to put up Ambedkar’s photographs displaying his full name from April 1. While issuing Tuesday’s order, the government cited Eighth Schedule of Constitution, where Ambedkar’s name is written as ‘Dr Bhimrao Ramji Aambedkar’ in Hindi. The campaign to write Ambedkar’s name “correctly” was initiated by Governor Ram Naik in December 2017. Ambedkar’s grandsons, Prakash Ambedkar and Anand Ambedkar, however, told CNN-New18 that the state government’s move was “votebank politics by the BJP”. “BJP wants to have their own CM Yogi Adityanath at Rani Laxmi Bai Award function in Lucknow. Vishal Srivastav agenda before the 2019 elections. My sense is close to elections, they might try to tell the voters that Ambedkar was also a ‘Ram bhakt’,” Prakash said. He used to write Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar only in signatures and for all other purposes he used initials, he added. The order also invited the wrath of Opposition parties. Alleging the move to be a case of “selfish politics”, BSP chief Mayawati said BJP leaders should first start using ‘Narendra Damodardas Modi’ — the Prime Minister’s full name — in government advertisements. In a statement, she pointed out that even people refer to Mohan Das Karamchand Gandhi as only ‘Gandhiji’. “BJP leaders do not use the full name ofNarendra Modi as Narendra Damodar Das Modi, then why this selfish politics over the name of Baba Sahab,” she asked. Claiming that the real problem was that “RSS, Jan Sangh and BJP and company” have failed to produce icons for “sarva samaj”, Mayawati CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Police patrol Asansol Thursday. Express MORE REPORTS, P 8 A student protests at Jantar Mantar on Thursday. Abhinav Saha RE-EXAM DATES NEXT WEEK Paper leak: Outrage mounts, red-faced Govt assures steps Police question tutors, new exam dates next week EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, MARCH 29 UNDER FIRE from students, parents and the Opposition over the leak of question papers that led to the Central Board of Secondary Education announcing re-exams for Mathematics in Class X and Economics in Class XII, the government scrambled for cover Thursday with HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar assuring “reforms” and the CBSE claiming it had taken the decision “in utmost fairness”. A day after the re-exams were announced, students and parents held a protest at Jantar Mantar to seek “justice” while Delhi Police said its crime branch has questioned 34 persons, including five coaching centre tutors and students, in connection with the alleged leak. The main Opposition Congress, meanwhile, demanded the sacking of Javadekar, CBSE chairperson Anita Karwal and a probe into the leak by a high court judge. Speaking to reporters, Javadekar said that the CBSE is likely to announce the re-test dates on Monday or Tuesday. Responding to the outrage 10 THE EDITORIAL PAGE ‘Understand pain, anguish of students, parents’ and the allegations, Javadekar said, “What can we do so that this thing does not get repeated, we are discussing and deliberating. To end the crime in the education system is a great challenge for us. I am having discussions with my counterparts abroad, and the US, and trying to find a system. We will punish the culprits and bring in necessary reforms within the system.” Saying that he understood the pain, anguish and frustration of students and their parents, Javadekar said he hadn’t been able to sleep the entire night. “CBSE has earned a good reputation of conducting fair examinations. This has been breached CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 RELATED REPORT PAGE 8 A southern discomfort BY PRATAP BHANU MEHTA Supriyo stokes Asansol tension, tells crowd: Will skin you alive SC/ST Act: Govt looks at His son dead, Imam says if you retaliate, will leave town SWEETY KUMARI & RAVIK BHATTACHARYA KOLKATA, MARCH 29 UNION MINISTER Babul Supriyo on Thursday threatened to “skin” some people who shouted slogans against him when he visited his constituency of Asansol, one of the areas hit by communal violence following Ram Navami processions across the state. According to sources, Supriyo was on his way to a relief camp in Kalyanpur, in Asansol, when he was stopped by the police. He was booked for violating prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the CrPC and under Sections 146, 147, 148 (rioting) and 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), a non-bailable offence. He is alleged to have assaulted senior IPS officer Rupesh Kumar. Supriyo in Asansol. PTI RAVIK BHATTACHARYA KOLKATA, MARCH 29 As some people approached him, news channels showed Supriyo telling them, “Aami ki apnader ke bolbo lorai koro? Ami chole jabo, apnader opor goli cholbe (Will I ask you to fight? I will leave and you will come under fire).” But when a person asked him to “go back” and leave them alone, Supriyo was heard shouting, “Chamra guthiye debo ekdom... (Will skin them alive).” HOURS AFTER his 16-year-old son was found dead, becoming the fourth victim of violence triggered by Ram Navami processions across the state since Sunday, Maulana Imdadul Rashidi, Imam of a mosque in Asansol, on Thursday presided over a congregation where he appealed for peace. He told the crowd that he would leave the mosque and the town if there CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 review plea in top court KAUNAIN SHERIFF M NEW DELHI, MARCH 29 IN ITS first public remarks on the issue, the central government said Thursday that it is examining the “desirability” offiling a judicial review against the Supreme Court order last week that laid down stringent safeguards before registering a case under the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989. Union Minister of Law and Justice Ravi Shankar Prasad said the Department of Legal Affairs has been instructed to “consider the desirability of filing a review” and that “appropriate action” will be taken once the ministry tenders its opinion. “There is widespread concern regarding this issue. We understand the sensitivity of the matter. The government has taken note of the judgment of the Supreme Court laying down new norms as far as the SC and ST Act’s operation is concerned. I have instructed the Ministry of Law to consider the desirability of filing a review. Appropriate follow-up actions are to be taken by the ministry,” Prasad said. The move comes a day after a delegation of Dalit MPs met Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the issue. On Wednesday, The Indian Express reported that despite representations and appeals from Dalit MPs for the government’s intervention on the SC’s CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 ● PAGE ONE ANCHOR PNB’S AUDITOR ON NIRAV MODI FIRMS FACES TAX EVASION CHARGE Taxmen search BDO India, recover Rs 2 cr, firm says fully compliant KHUSHBOO NARAYAN MUMBAI, MARCH 29 ON FEBRUARY 27, Punjab National Bank appointed BDO, a Belgium-based consultancy, to conduct a forensic audit on the firms of Nirav Modi after the state-owned bank found fraudulent transactions of over Rs 6,500 crore involving the diamond jeweller’s companies. But now, BDO’s India office, which is conducting the audit, finds itself un- der the scanner for alleged tax evasion. BDO India and its partner MSKA & Associates are facing charges of alleged non-payment of Goods and Services Tax (GST) to the government since July 2017 despite collecting it from clients, officials told The Indian Express. According to sources, officials of the Directorate General of GST Intelligence (DGGI), Pune, conducted a search at the offices of BDO India in Mumbai and Pune on March 27 and 28. According to official sources, DGGI has alleged that BDO India and MSKA & Associates “collected GST from their customers of around Rs 13.5 crore and not paid to the government”. A statement from DGGI, Pune, did not name the firm but said that “during the searches, GST of Rs 2 crore was recovered from the spot”. When contacted by The Indian Express, a BDO India spokesperson said in a state- PNB’s Brady House branch in Mumbai. Express ment: “The visit of GST officials and their agenda was routine in nature and it turned out that BDO India was fully compliant on all concerns raised. The Rs 2 crore payment was also made by us, voluntarily in the course of discharging our liability, the rest of which is being paid, again in normal course and with concurrence of the tax officials. As a matter of policy and good governance, BDO discharges all its duties including payment of taxes responsibly and in compliance with the law.” According to official sources, BDO India and MSKA have at least 14 GST registrations in different states. The two firms, according to officials, have filed GSTR 1 but not GSTR 3B returns since July 2017. GSTR 1 is the monthly outward supply return made by a business, while GSTR 3 B is a monthly self-declaration form of tax liability. Speaking to The Indian Express on condition of anonymity, a senior partner at BDO India said that DGGI officials visited their offices and “asked a few questions” to which the company replied “adequately”. “This visit by the DGGI officials was a part of the year-end activity of the agency. We have adequately replied to the officials and we are also representing our views through hearings conducted by the DGGI,” said the partner. This month, BDO India was also tasked by PNB with conducting a forensic audit of firms belonging to Modi’s uncle, Mehul Choksi — companies linked with Modi and Choksi are together alleged to have been involved in fraudulent transactions with the bank amounting to over Rs 13,400 crore.
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.