TheIndian EXPRESS LATE CITY, 16 PAGES, KOLKATA, `5.00/EX-KOLKATA `6.00 (`12 IN NORTH EAST STATES & ANDAMAN) ● MONDAY, JULY 23, 2018 ● WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA CONGRESS WORKING COMMITTEE MEETING At CWC, party underlines: Rahul leader, there is a need for allies Modi meets Rwanda Bottomline: If Congress is single largest party in 2019, Rahul will be the PM face BY UNNY Public sector banks set to close 1/3rd of branches outside India SUNNY VERMA NEW DELHI, JULY 22 PUBLIC SECTOR banks are expected to close down around 70 of theirtotal216foreignbranches 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 processof scalingdownoverseas operations. Leaving aside profitable operations — for instance, remittance offices in Gulf countries such as Oman and UAE — those notgeneratingenoughrevenues are being closed down. “Thebankshaveinitiatedsale of non-coreassets,closureof unviable branches and other steps toreducecapital.Sofar,theyhave closed down 37 overseas operations and another 60-70 operations will be closed down by the endof theyear.Theseoperations areacombinationof full-fledged branches, representative offices andremittancesoffices,”theofficial said, adding that some of the branchesarebeingconvertedinto smaller representative offices. Forshuttingdownmanyfullfledged branches, the banks are already in the process of obtaining regulatory approvals, which is a time-consuming exercise, theofficialsaid.SBIhasclosedsix CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Congress president Rahul Gandhi with Sonia Gandhi at the CWC meeting in New Delhi, Sunday. Renuka Puri 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 question.“Chidambarampointedout that the Congress is facing a serious challenge in the 80 seats of Uttar Pradesh, 42 seats of West Bengal,40seatsof Bihar,39seats of TamilNadu...thisitself addsup 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 istheleadingparty...andinthose CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Alwar lynching: Cops took 3 hrs to reach health centre, 4 km away HAMZA KHAN 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. TheFIRsimplymentionsthat 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 Cows seized from Rakbar at a gaushala in Alwar. Express to the CHC, where he was declared dead on arrival. RakbaraliasAkbarwastransporting cows on foot along with an associate, Aslam Khan, when they were allegedly stopped by villagers in Lalawandi, under the jurisdiction of the Ramgarh police 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 together the chain of events that night, it turns out that after they police got that call from Sharma, they took him along in their jeep andwenttothespot,wherethey collected the victim Rakbar, washed him, stopped to have tea, got his clothes changed at the police station, before taking him to the Ramgarh CHC, where he was declared dead on arrival. The FIR, lodged at 9.20 am on Saturday, says Assistant Sub Inspector Mohan Singh, who is posted at the Ramgarh police station, was on a routine patrol in a police jeep, along with two constables and a driver, when at 12.41 am, they received a call from Sharma that “some people are smuggling cows from Rajasthan to Haryana on foot”. The FIR says the ASI and others then met Sharma outside the CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 $210-mn assets: I-T moves court against Winsome owner’s wife KHUSHBOO NARAYAN MUMBAI, JULY 22 THE INCOME Tax department hasmovedcourtundertheBlack 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 courtagainsttheMehtasonMay 25. The department has charged Sonia under sections 276 (concealment or transfer of property to avoid tax recovery) and 277 (makingafalsestatementinverification) of the Income Tax Act, and section 50 of the black money law, which deals with failure to furnish information CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 ● 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 afterserving16yearsforhisrolein two murders, and all of them were experts in handling newage tools such as GPS systems. Bengaluru Police investigatorsarepiecingtogetheranelaborate profile of the five Colombians who were arrested lastweekforcommittingatleast 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 Jose Burbano is the gang leader, say investigators of the houses the gang burgled or attempted to — including the home of a former Karnataka chief secretary — provided a trail leadingtoitshideoutsinthecity. 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 Was 0.46% of procurement in 2017-18, 0.50% five years ago, shows official data NEW DELHI, JULY 22 NEW DELHI, JULY 22 BUSINESS AS USUAL In last 6 years, govt’s plan for its firms to procure from Dalit SMEs fails to take off P VAIDYANATHAN IYER MANOJ C G 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 Committee (CWC) chaired by Rahul, the first after he took over as president eight months ago, theCongresssaidhewas“setting up a group” to look into the JOURNALISM OF COURAGE isallegedtohavestolenproperty worth Rs 80 lakh between June andearlyJuly,mostlyintheform of jewellery and expensive watches. They would melt the jewellery and create gold bars beforeattemptingtoselltheloot, said police. Investigations have revealed that the Colombians got acquainted with each other at a restaurantinMexicoaroundfive months ago, before they struck a plan to visit India on tourist visas to carry out burglaries. The plan was initiated on the basisof an“easyouting”thattwo 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 African associates and managed to return to Colombia. At the time, police said gold and jewellery worth Rs 40 lakh were stolen from the home of Venkatashiva Reddy, the former MLAfromSrinivasapurainKolar. This time, sources said, the gang bought vehicles from a used-car sales firm, New Big Boys Car Showroom, and roamedresidentiallocalitiestrying to identify homes where residents were away by looking for lightsandparkedcars.Theyused GPS tools to later locate the homes they had marked and returned to carry out their burglaries using sophisticated tools. According to investigators, Kimberly was sent to ring door CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 No solo act Rahul Gandhi’s ability to make friends will show if he has a new politics THEEDITORIALPAGE 8 GOVT & POLITICS ● CWC IS CONG NON-WORKING COMMITTEE, SAYS BJP, PAGE 6 11 WORLD WILL MAKE PAK BETTER THAN INDIA, CLAIMS SHAHBAZ SHARIF 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,in2012-13,SC/STenterprises 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 March23,2012,requiredCentral 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 bySC/STentrepreneurs.Theprocurement goal of 20% from MSMEs was made mandatory from April 1, 2015. Those not meeting this were required to providereasonstoareviewcommittee set up by the ministry. 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 websiteshowsthatCentralPSUs’ YOUR RIGHT TO KNOW E AN XPRESS RTI APPLICATION 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 publictheirannualprocurement targets,butalsopostthelistof all goods purchased from and services rendered by MSMEs and SC/ST enterprises on separate websites,” a government official told The Indian Express. However,dataobtainedfrom the MSME ministry shows that of the total 330 PSUs administered by 37 ministries in 201718, 233 did not report their annual/monthly procurement targets from MSMEs and SC/ST enterprises or the services and goods procured from the MSMEs. “This suggests that less than a third of the Central PSUs were providing information as required. Consistent follow up is required,” said an industry executive. While the total number of CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Militants behind J&K policeman’s death shot in encounter BASHAARAT MASOOD SRINAGAR, JULY 22 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. 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,aSpecialPoliceOfficerpromoted as police constable recently, was abducted from his home at Kulgam on Saturday by suspected militants and killed in the evening. “Thethreemilitantsinvolved in the abduction and killing of one of our constables have been eliminated,” Kashmir Inspector Generalof PoliceSPPanitoldThe Indian Express. “We followed leads that led to a brief encounter this morning.” CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 7 EXPLAINED Pak elections: No contest, assured victory
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