TheIndian EXPRESS LATE CITY, 24 PAGES, MUMBAI, `5.00 ● THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 13, 2018 ● WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM ● REG.NO. MCS/067/2018 - 20 RNI REGN. NO. 1543/57 DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA JOURNALISM OF COURAGE CONG DEMANDS PROBE, LEFT SAYS GOVT IN DOCK Mallya claims he met Jaitley before leaving and offered to settle, FM says false, I snubbed him ENS ECONOMIC BUREAU NEW DELHI, SEPTEMBER 12 TRIGGERING A political firestorm in India, fugitive businessman Vijay Mallya said in London Wednesday that he had “met the Finance Minister” before leaving India in 2016 and “repeated my offer to settle with the banks”. Mallya’s claim was immediately dismissed as “factually false” by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. Mallya, however, sought to downplay his comments later, saying it was “not fair” to create 12 THEEDITORIAL PAGE a controversy over a “totally innocentstatement” and that he had only “happened to meet” the Finance Minister. The Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London is hearing Mallya’s extradition case, with the judge fixing December 10 as the date for the verdict. Earlier, asked by reporters outside the court if he had been “tipped off” before leaving India, Mallya said: “I left because I had a scheduled meeting in Geneva. ImettheFinanceMinisterbefore I left, repeated my offer to settle withthebanks.Thatisthetruth.” NEW DELHI, SEPTEMBER 12 CALLING IT the “most ambitious coal sector reform since its nationalisation in 1973”, the Centre last February had announcedthat privatecompanies wouldbepermittedtominecoal forcommercialsale.Thismonth, the Coal Ministry is set to put that initiative on hold under pressure from trade unions of state-run coal companies. “There are issues of resistance by Coal India Ltd/its subsidiaries unions against commercial mining which does not make it conducive at present for theauctionof coalmines forsale of coal,” says the proposal from the Coal Ministry for the approval of the Committee of Secretaries. Coal India Ltd and its subsidiaries account for more than BY UNNY KHUSHBOO NARAYAN MUMBAI, SEPTEMBER 12 ALMOST THREE months before the Rs 13,600-crore banking fraud in the state-owned Punjab National Bank (PNB) became public, diamond jeweller Nirav Moditriedtosecureacitizenship of Vanuatu, an island nation located in the South Pacific Ocean, sources confirmed to The Indian Express. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 For citizenship of Vanuatu, Modi had, in November 2017, transferred $195,000 from his personalaccounttooneof the18 authorised agents of the Vanuatu government who facilitate Citizenship by Investment program of the country. Subsequently, the Vanuatu government ran an intelligence check on Modi and unearthed “adverse findings” against him. This prompted the Vanuatu CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Nirav Modi PapuaNew Guinea VANUATU Coral Sea Island nation in South Pacific Ocean said no to Nirav Modi’s application after due diligence EXPRESS INTERVIEW Reform that isn’t BY KAPIL SIBAL Citing union pressure, Coal rolls back, puts on hold plan to let private firms mine for sale AMITAV RANJAN & DEEPAK PATEL BUSINESS AS USUAL Before scam broke, Nirav Modi tried for citizenship of Vanuatu — was rejected Australia Told him no point talking to me, he must make offers to bankers: Jaitley; Mallya later says meeting not formal 80percentof domesticcoaloutput and employed 2.50 lakh workers and 30,798 supervisors as of April 2018. Due to their bargaining power, the auction process could not begin even for the initially identified nine mines although private mining for commercial sale was announced on February 20. “No coal mine has been auctioned so far under this methodology,”theMinistryhasadmitted. The Coal Ministry’s proposal, effectively, rejects a High Power Expert Committee’s (HPEC) recommendation last July that all mines and blocks — including coking coal and smaller ones — be auctioned for sale of coal or commercialminingexceptthose already specified for end-use and those inSchedule IIand III of the Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Act. Schedule II are producing CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Bought only 36 Rafale jets as back-end infra didn’t allow for more: Sitharaman On Reliance Defence as offset partner: ‘I have not done any match-making’ SUSHANT SINGH NEW DELHI, SEPTEMBER 12 UNION DEFENCE Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has said that the government chose to procure only 36 Rafale fighter aircraft from France in 2015, instead of the 126 being negotiated by the previous government,asinfrastructureandother technical requirements of the Indian Air Force (IAF) do not allow for greater induction. “Every time you induct one squadron (standard fleet of 18 aircraft), there is a requirement for a lot of other paraphernalia to come in. Given a set of parameters, if you quickly want to induct, two is the ideal,” Sitharaman told The Indian Express in an interview. “Air Force Technical Details will tell you, that for any emergency-based induction, it is always two squadrons and not more than that. So that justifies why we settled for two. Because in ready, flyway condition, that is all you can induct, otherwise you have to spend a lot more on creating other paraphernalia for bringing in,” she added, “at a time for us to procure, beyond two squadrons, infrastructure and other things would not have MUMBAI, SEPTEMBER 12 THECOMMITTEEconstitutedby theBombayHighCourtto investigate the Kamala Mills fire has recommended that criminal proceedings be initiated against officers of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), Kamala Mills owner Ramesh Gowani and the six owners of thetworestaurants,1Aboveand Mojo’s Bistro, that went up in flames on December 29, 2017, The fire killed 14 people. File killing 14. In addition, the committee has also recommended a full- CONTINUED ON PAGE 10 ANURADHA MASCARENHAS PUNE, SEPTEMBER 12 ALMOST FOUR in every ten women who commit suicide across the world are from India; 71.2 per cent of suicide deaths among women in India were in the 15-39 age group; between 1990 and 2016, the suicide rate among women in India reduced by almost 27 per cent. Theseareamongthefindings of a paper, “Gender differentials and state variations in suicide deaths in India: the Global Burden of Disease Study 19902016,” published Wednesday in The Lancet Public Health. The study found that India’s contribution to global suicide deaths increased from 25.3 per cent in 1990 to 36.6 per cent in 2016 among women, but at the sametime,theage-standardised suicide death rate (SDR) among women in India reduced by 26.7 per cent from 20 per 1 lakh population in 1990 to 14.7 per 1 lakh population in 2016. According to the study, in 2016, India accounted for 17.8 per cent (130 crore) of the global population but recorded 36.6 per cent (94,380) of the 2,57,624 suicides among women across the world and 24.3 per cent of SUICIDE DEATHS AMONG WOMEN Tamil Nadu 25.3 Karnataka 23.5 West Bengal 20.6 Tripura 20.3 Andhra Pradesh 19.8 Telangana 18.8 (Per lakh population) global suicides among men. Compare this to 1990: India had 16.4 per cent of the global population and accounted for 25.3 per cent of global suicide deaths among women. The Lancet paper warns of an impending public health crisis. “Young adults are taking their own lives in alarmingly high numbers, constituting a public health crisis. Suicide ranks first as the cause of death in India in both the age groups of 15-29 years and 15-39 years, as compared with its second and third rankgloballyintheseagegroups, respectively,” stated the paper. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 MORE REPORTS PAGE 10 Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in her office, Wednesday. We are pushing (contract committees) hard to get procurements moving faster, she said. Neeraj Priyadarshi been possible, therefore we settled for two.” The Defence Minister defended her decision to state at her first press conference in the Ministrylastyearthatshewould givethepricedetailsof theRafale deal. She said that she meant onlythebasicpriceof theFrench aircraft(Rs 670 crore) which had been mentioned in Parliament. “I have thought about it as I have been asked by a lot of people but I have not answered it, butI havethought over itseveral times,”Sitharamansaid,“Iasked theDefenceSecretarytogivethe basicprice...thatwasaconscious decision. I could not have answered so I made him answer.” In response to a question about her likely reaction when JOHNSON T A BENGALURU, SEPTEMBER 12 THE CRIMINAL Investigation Department (CID) of the Karnataka police has identified two youths arrested for the shooting of journalist Gauri LankeshinBengalurulastyearas the first suspects in the August 30, 2015 shooting of Kannada scholar M M Kalburgi in Dharwad. The CID has moved a court in Dharwad for custody of Ganesh MM Kalburgi was killed in August 2015 Miskin, 27, and Amit Baddi, 28, residents of Hubbali city, neighbouring Dharwad, who are currently lodged in a jail in Bengaluru after being arrested by a Special Investigation Team (SIT) for their alleged involvement in the Lankesh murder. Union Ministers Dharmendra Pradhan, Piyush Goyal and Radha Mohan Singh on Wednesday. Renuka Puri CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 FULL INTERVIEW PAGE 14 Karnataka police joins dots between HC committee recommends criminal Gauri Lankesh and Kalburgi murders action against BMC officials, owners CID moves to seek custody of two Hubbali youths held by SIT fledged departmental inquiry against officers of the state industriesandexcisedepartments. The report also pulled up the architect, interior designers and contractors, hookah service providers of the two restaurants and recommended criminal proceedings against each. The committee slammed officers of the BMC and the state government for granting hasty permissions under the guise of Ease of Doing Business (EODB). “...Most of the NOCs, licences, 4 of 10 women who commit suicide in world are from India, most are under 40 After initial questions, Govt clears 100 per cent Rlys electrification KAMALA MILLS FIRE SAILEE DHAYALKAR ICMR, PHFI, GOVT STUDY IN LANCET The CID has sought warrants after preliminary investigations and an SIT report in the Lankesh case revealed that these two are allegedly linked to the Kalburgi murder plot. Miskin, who was involved in a business of making incense sticks, wasarrestedin Julybythe Karnataka SIT probing the Lankesh murder after investigations revealed that he was the rider of a motorcycle that transported the shooter to the journalist’s house for the murder on CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 AVISHEK G DASTIDAR NEW DELHI, SEPTEMBER 12 FOUR MONTHS after Prime Minister Narendra Modi questioned the need for total electrification of the country’s rail network, the PM-led Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA)onWednesdayapproved 100percentelectrificationof the Indian Railways, tentatively by 2021-22,settlingadecades-long debate. When complete, this will make Indian Railways one of the largest electrified railway networksintheworld—afterChina, whichhas87,000km(around68 per cent of its network) electrified — and the only large railway with 100per cent electrification. Currently,around48percent of thecountry’s61,680kmbroad gauge railway network is electrified. These are mostly trafficintensive routes, signifying healthy return on investments. ECONOMY Page 17 ● NEW MSP FORMULA GETS CABINET NOD ● INCENTIVES FOR ETHANOL OUTPUT Accordingtotheexistingarrangement already in the works, this was to increase to around 78-80 percentinthebusiness-as-usual mode,bybringinganother17,000 km under electrification in the next few years. The Cabinet’s decision on Wednesday takes this to a full 100 per cent coverage, with the move to electrify the remaining 13,675 route km. However, this approval does not cover 3,479 km of metre gauge and 2,209 of broad gauge network. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 ● PAGE ONE ANCHOR TASK CUT OUT: UNROLLING 1.7 LAKH SQ M CARPET AT DELHI AIRPORT The Indian Express wishes its readers A Happy Ganesh Chaturthi We are closed today. There will be no edition of the newspaper on Friday, September 14, 2018 INSIDE ● MAHARASHTRA TO PERMIT SALE OF LEASE LANDS TO RAISE REVENUE, P3 ANKITA DWIVEDI JOHRI NEW DELHI, SEPTEMBER 12 ATLEAST 320workers,20 weaving machines and four months of “tireless work” at a unit near Pune was what it took to produce the 2,000 rolls of carpet for Delhi Airport’s T3, one of the biggest terminals in the world with an annual footfall of nearly 40 million. When T3 opened to the world for the 2010 CommonwealthGames,thecarpets were as much a highlight as the new terminal. But the brown-and-beige rugs with designs depicting the “radialstreetsof Lutyens’sDelhi” have since faced criticism for causing inconvenience in dragging trolley bags and upkeep. And now, they are being replaced with “hard flooring”. “Thecarpetswereanintegral partof T3’soveralldesignphilosophy and required high maintenance. However, extensive use and buggy movement have flattened the rugs in some parts. They will now be replaced with hard flooring that matches the granite flooring in the other areas. Preliminary work has begun,”aspokespersonforDelhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) said. DIAL insists that the decision to remove the carpets was not a reaction to a tweet by a passenger that popped up on Union Aviation Minister Jayant Sinha’s Twitter account last month. On August 18, tagging Sinha’s Twitter handle, the passenger Suyash Gupta tweeted: “@jayantsinha @DelhiAirport #T3 at Delhi needs massive makeover.Almostallpassengers want the dirty rugs to go. Please, let us not fall prey to a sunk investment fallacy. It is very inconvenient and now, stinkingly smelly also, to walk to the boarding gates.” The tweet triggered a string of similar reactions from users across social media platforms, most complaining about the obstruction caused by the rugs. Respondingtothecomplaint, a tweet from the Delhi Airport This will now be replaced with hard flooring. Express Twitter handle said: “We have initiated the design and implementation process for the replacement of the carpet with hard flooring in the passenger movementarea,alongwithpiers in a phased manner.” The DIAL spokesperson said the condition of the carpets first came on the radar during “regular checks” two years ago. “We found that in the buggy movement areas and in between the travellatorsof boththeDomestic and International piers, some portions of the carpets had been flatteningduetoheavywearand tear. Since then, we have been conducting R&D to find a suitable material to replace the carpets. We have now short- listed four-five firms and will take a call soon,” the official said. Spread over an area of 1,70,000 sq metres — comparable to 24 football fields — UK’s Brintons Carpets manufactured the rugs at their Asia unit in Mulshi near Pune. “The full consignment was transported to Delhi in 85 containers, each 30 feet long. It was the largest ever commercial order in the world for carpets for a single customer. The design was in tune with the ‘Progressive India’ theme of T3,” said the spokesperson. “Several mock-ups were done on the carpeted areas to check various performance parameters such as passengers 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.