LATE CITY, 16 PAGES, AHMEDABAD, `4.00 ● MONDAY, JULY 23, 2018 ● WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM TheIndian EXPRESS DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA JOURNALISM OF COURAGE WORKING COMMITTEE MEETS IN DELHI At Congress meeting, they underline: Rahul leader, there is a need for allies Bottomline: If Congress is single largest party in 2019, Rahul will be the PM face No solo act Rahul Gandhi’s ability to make friends will show if he has a new politics THE EDITORIAL PAGE 8 MANOJ C G NEW DELHI, JULY 22 GUJARAT ● MS UNIVERSITY CANCELS SHOW BY ‘ANTI-NATIONAL’ COMEDIAN, P3 THE CONGRESS Sunday sent out an unambiguous message to present and potential allies that while it was open to state-specific alliances for the 2019 elections, its pan-India footprint could make it the single largest party in which case Rahul Gandhi will be the prime ministerial face. The party also moved to erase the perception that Sonia Gandhi will lead alliance talks and made clear that Rahul, or leaders chosen by him, will talk to parties about tie-ups. After a meeting of the extended Congress Working EXPRESS NETWORK ● CWC IS CONG NON-WORKING COMMITTEE, SAYS BJP, PAGE 4 Congress president Rahul Gandhi with Sonia Gandhi at the CWC meeting in New Delhi, Sunday. Renuka Puri Committee (CWC) chaired by Rahul, the first after he took over as president eight months ago, the Congress said he was “setting up a group” to look into the alliance question. Attended by 239 leaders, the CWC brainstormed for nearly five hours to bring clarity on its “mission 2019” strategy and the political situation — as many as 35 leaders spoke. Former union minister P Chidambaram gave a detailed presentation in which he touched upon the alliance ques- tion. “Chidambaram pointed out that the Congress is facing a serious challenge in the 80 seats of Uttar Pradesh, 42 seats of West Bengal, 40 seats of Bihar, 39 seats of Tamil Nadu...this itself adds up to around 200 seats. He said that in states where the Congress is weak currently, we must sew up regional alliances to take on the BJP,” Congress leader Randeep Surjewala told reporters at a press conference later. According to Surjewala, Chidambaram said that “in multiple states, there are a dozen and-a-half where the Congress is the leading party...and in those CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Alwar lynching: Police took 3 hours Militants behind J&K policeman’s death shot in encounter in Kulgam to reach health centre, 4 km away BASHAARAT MASOOD HAMZA KHAN SRINAGAR, JULY 22 ALWAR, JULY 22 THE RAMGARH Community Health Centre (CHC) is roughly 4 km from Lalawandi, the village in Alwar where Rakbar alias Akbar was lynched on Friday night on suspicion of being a cow smuggler. Yet, it took the police over two and a half hours from the time they reached the lynching spot to get to the CHC, where Rakbar was brought dead. The FIR simply mentions that on getting a call at 12.41 am on Saturday from Naval Kishore Sharma, chief of VHP’s Gau Raksha cell in Ramgarh, about a suspected case of cow smuggling, they took Sharma along to the spot, spotted an injured and muddied Rakbar, washed him, questioned him briefly on the spot, and then took him directly BUSINESS AS USUAL BY UNNY A DAY after a policeman was abducted and killed in South Kashmir, the J&K Police said the three militants responsible for the act had been killed in an encounter at Redwani in Kulgam district. Cows seized from Rakbar at a gaushala in Alwar. Express to the CHC, where he was declared dead on arrival. Rakbar alias Akbar was transporting cows on foot along with an associate, Aslam Khan, when they were allegedly stopped by villagers in Lalawandi, under the jurisdiction of the Ramgarh po- NEW DELHI, JULY 22 WORLD WILL MAKE PAK BETTER THAN INDIA, CLAIMS SHAHBAZ SHARIF PUBLIC SECTOR banks are expected to close down around 70 of their total 216 foreign branches and other operations by the end of this year in order to cut costs and preserve capital, a senior Finance Ministry official said. State Bank of India, Punjab National Bank, Indian Overseas Bank, IDBI Bank and Bank of India are among the stateowned banks leading the process of scaling down overseas operations. Leaving aside profitable operations — for instance, remittance offices in Gulf countries KHUSHBOO NARAYAN MUMBAI, JULY 22 CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 such as Oman and UAE — those not generating enough revenues are being closed down. “The banks have initiated sale of non-core assets, closure of unviable branches and other steps to reduce capital. So far, they have closed down 37 overseas operations and another 60-70 operations will be closed down by the end of the year. These operations are a combination of full-fledged branches, representative offices and remittances offices,” the official said, adding that some of the branches are being converted into smaller representative offices. For shutting down many fullfledged branches, the banks are already in the process of THE INCOME Tax department has moved court under the Black Money Act against Sonia Mehta, the wife of Jatin Mehta who is the promoter of Winsome Diamonds and Jewellery Ltd, for not disclosing immovable foreign assets of $210 million, or Rs 1,450 crore, sources told The Indian Express. Winsome Diamonds is the country’s second largest wilful defaulter, and owes Rs 4,687 crore to a consortium of banks headed by Standard Chartered Bank. Its associate firm Forever Precious Diamonds and Jewellery owes another Rs 2,121.8 crore to a set of banks led by Punjab National Bank. The company was classified as a “wilful defaulter” in 2013. The department has also separately moved against Sonia and Jatin Mehta for alleged tax evasion of Rs 21 crore, according to filings with a special court in Mumbai. The tax department filed three petitions in a lower court against the Mehtas on May 25. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Public sector banks set to close 1/3rd of branches outside India SUNNY VERMA 11 lice station. While Rakbar was attacked, Aslam managed to escape. As The Indian Express spoke to Sharma, local eyewitnesses, the doctor at the CHC and a tea seller, among others, to stitch $210-mn assets: I-T moves court against Winsome owner’s wife ● PAGE ONE ANCHOR BENGALURU’S BURGLARS FROM BOGOTA: CLOTHING STORE OWNER , US DEPORTEES JOHNSON T A BENGALURU, JULY 22 FOUR OF the five knew only Spanish, one was an MBA released from a Colombian jail after serving 16 years for his role in two murders, and all of them were experts in handling newage tools such as GPS systems. Bengaluru Police investigators are piecing together an elaborate profile of the five Colombians who were arrested last week for committing at least five big-ticket burglaries in the homes of wealthy residents in the city’s south. The gang was nabbed by Bengaluru’s south division police after CCTV footage at some of the houses the gang burgled or attempted to — including the home of a former Karnataka chief secretary — provided a trail leading to its hideouts in the city. The five have been identified as Jose Eduardo Arivalo Burbano (40), Gustavo Adolpho Jaramillo Giraldo (47), Yair Alberto Sanchez alias Rozer Smith Duarte (45), and Eduardo Alexis Garcia Peramo (38) and his girlfriend Kimberly Guiterrez (30). According to police, the gang Jose Burbano is the gang leader, say investigators is alleged to have stolen property worth Rs 80 lakh between June and early July, mostly in the form of jewellery and expensive watches. They would melt the jewellery and create gold bars before attempting to sell the loot, said police. Investigations have revealed that the Colombians got acquainted with each other at a restaurant in Mexico around five months ago, before they struck a plan to visit India on tourist visas to carry out burglaries. The plan was initiated on the basis of an “easy outing” that two of them — Jose Burbano and Gustavo Giraldo — had in Bengaluru in June 2016 when they carried out a robbery at the home of an MLA with two CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 The militants, including a Pakistani national, were killed in a joint operation of the J&K Police, Army and paramilitary forces on Sunday morning. On the intervening night of July 20-21, Mohammad Saleem Shah, a Special Police Officer promoted as police constable recently, was abducted from his home at Kulgam on Saturday by suspected militants and killed in the evening. “The three militants involved in the abduction and killing of one of our constables have been eliminated,” Kashmir Inspector General of Police S P Pani told The Indian Express. “We followed leads that led to a brief encounter this morning.” CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Govt’s plan for PSUs to procure from Dalit SMEs fails to take off Was 0.46% of procurement in 2017-18, 0.50% five years ago, shows official data YOUR RIGHT TO KNOW P VAIDYANATHAN IYER NEW DELHI, JULY 22 THE GOVERNMENT’S ambitious plan to get Central PSUs to make 4% of their procurement from Dalit enterprises has not made much headway over the last six years. In 2017-18, Central PSUs bought Rs 543.86 crore worth goods and services from SC/ST enterprises, accounting for just 0.46% of their total procurement of Rs 1,16,837.27 crore. Five years ago, in 2012-13, SC/ST enterprises sold goods and services valued Rs 419.93 crore, or 0.5% of the total procurement of Rs 85,155.18 crore by Central PSUs then. The ‘Public Procurement Order for Micro and Small Enterprises Order, 2012’, issued by the UPA-II government on March 23, 2012, required Central PSUs to procure 20% of their annual value of goods produced and services rendered from MSMEs. A sub-target of 4% (20% of 20%) was earmarked for procurement from MSMEs owned by SC/ST entrepreneurs. The procurement goal of 20% from MSMEs was made mandatory from April 1, 2015. Those not meeting this were required to provide reasons to a review committee set up by the ministry. 10 E AN XPRESS RTI APPLICATION Information obtained from the Office of the Development Commissioner, Micro Small and Medium Enterprises, under the Right To Information Act and from the Ministry of MSME website shows that Central PSUs’ purchase of products and services from MSMEs and from SC/ST MSMEs dipped sharply in the first year (2014-15) of the NDA government, and rose in the subsequent years. While MSMEs accounted for almost 23% of the total procurement by Central PSUs in 2017-18, the share of SC/ST MSMEs was less than even 0.5%. “The government did increase transparency by asking Central PSUs to not only make public their annual procurement targets, but also post the list of all goods purchased from and services rendered by MSMEs and SC/ST enterprises on separate websites,” a government official told The Indian Express. However, data obtained from the MSME ministry shows that EXPLAINED Pak elections: No contest CONTINUED ON PAGE 2
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.