TheIndian EXPRESS LATE CITY, 18 + 4 (NEWSLINE) PAGES, PUNE, `5.00 ● THURSDAY, OCTOBER 4, 2018 ● WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA JOURNALISM OF COURAGE Eye on state polls, ear to protests, govt hikes MSPs for rabi crops HARISH DAMODARAN NEW DELHI, OCTOBER 3 NGT saw red, Govt plans to ease green norms for realty AMITAV RANJAN NEW DELHI, OCTOBER 3 AGAINST OBJECTIONS by the National Green Tribunal (NGT), theUnionEnvironmentMinistry last week approved changes in the Environment Impact Assessment Notification to exempt realty projects below 50,000squaremetresof built-up areafromseeking prior environment clearance (EC). As per the proposed amendments, approved last week, new buildings or expansion projects less than 50,000 sq m would not require prior EC and can be constructed “under the supervision CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 9 THE IDEAS PAGE The green state of mind BY NARENDRA MODI AHEADOFcrucialassemblypolls in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, and just a day after a Kisan Kranti Yatra rally was stopped from entering Delhi by police using water cannons and tear gas, the government Wednesday announced significant hikes in the minimum support prices (MSP) for crops to be planted in the ensuing rabi season from November. The MSP for the 2018-19 wheat crop has been fixed at Rs 1,840perquintal,a6.05percent increase over last year’s level of Rs1,735.TheUnionCabinetalso approved MSP hikes in other rabi season crops: From Rs 4,000 to Rs 4,200 per quintal for rapeseed-mustard; from Rs 4,400 to Rs 4,620 per quintal for chana or chickpea; from Rs 4,250 to Rs 4,475 per quintal for masur or lentil; from Rs 1,410 to Rs 1,440 per quintal for barley; and, Rs 4,100 to Rs 4,945 per quintal for safflower. MP is a major producer of wheat and chana, while Rajasthanisthecountry’sbiggest mustard and barley growing state. The MSP hike that matters in material and fiscal terms, though, is of wheat. The reason for this is that it not only covers 30-31 million hectares of the totalrabi-plantedareaof63-64million hectares, but is also the only CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 WHEN MSPs ARE ONLY ON PAPER, P 14 INTERVIEW: J&K GOVERNOR ‘India’s mistakes alienated J&K, my job is to make space for talks’ NAVEED IQBAL THE BEGINNING, FROM RAJGHAT Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and wife Rupanjali at Rajghat after he took oath of office at Rashtrapati Bhavan on Wednesday. Prem Nath Pandey REPORT, PAGE 5 IL&FS CRISIS ‘Name us but why didn’t Govt Maya slams Cong, rules name shareholder directors?’ out state election tie-up Five independent directors surprised at plea in tribunal; write to new chief EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE SANDEEP SINGH & P VAIDYANATHAN IYER NEW DELHI, OCTOBER 3 LAUNCHING A scathing attack on the Congress, BSP chief Mayawati Wednesday said that her party will contest the upcoming polls in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh on its own and notinalliancewiththeCongress. Mayawati said that some leaders in the party were out to “destroy” the BSP, though CongresspresidentRahulGandhi and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi favoured an alliance. Calling the Congress “arrogant” with a “casteist and communal mindset”, she said that people hadnotforgiventheCongressfor ‘Arrogant, communal Cong out to destroy BSP’ their “corrupt government”. Her remarks left the Congress,whichistryingtostitch together an alliance across the country against the BJP, scrambling for damage control and cautious in its response. The Congress pointed out that Mayawatihadalsoexpressedher regard for Rahul and Sonia Gandhi and said that “creases will be ironed out”. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 NEW DELHI, OCTOBER 3 CALLING THE government’s decision to supersede the board of investment company IL&FS as “timely and courageous”, five independent directors on the erstwhile board have written to the newlyappointedchairmanUday KotakonOctober2raisingseveral red flags and elaborating on constraintsoflong-termfinancethat plague the infrastructure sector. What has shocked independentdirectorsMichaelPinto, Jerry Rao, Rina Kamath, R C Bhargava, and Sunil B Mathur is the government’s petition in the National Company Law Tribunal which names them and the executive directors including Ravi ParthasarathyandHariSankaran butsparestheshareholderdirectors. Thekey institutional shareholders were LIC, SBI, Orix, Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, HDFC and Central Bank of India. An independent director who did not wish to be named, told The Indian Express: “For all major decisions such as issue of fresh equity, mergers and so on, the shareholders retained the veto rights and the requirement of an affirmative vote by their nominees on the board. I am fine with the fact that I have been named a respondent in the government’s petition but I BUSINESS AS USUAL BY UNNY am surprised to see that the names of shareholder directors have been omitted.” Another independent director, who also wished to remain anonymous, said the government’s petition states that the directors of IL&FS failed to “discharge their fiduciary duties”. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 SRINAGAR, OCTOBER 3 ASJ&Kbracesforlocalbodyelections starting October 8 amid militantthreatsandboycottcalls by the PDP and National Conference, Governor Satya Pal Malik said Wednesday that “Indiahasmademistakes,andits mistakes have, in the process, alienated itself” from the people of the Valley. He said his priority is to “create an environment of trust”inwhichtheCentrecaninitiatetalkswithmainstreampartiesandeventheHurriyatif they come to the table “without the conditionof involvingPakistan”. Speaking to The Indian Express (fullinterviewtomorrow), Malik, who took charge of J&K two months after the state was placedunderGovernor’srulefollowing the collapse of the PDPBJP government, said, “Kashmir is not an occupied territory”. “Yeh koi, ek tarah se, occupation nahin hai. Isko ab aap occupation term do, woh ek alag baat hai. Lekin nahin, woh baat baithti nahin hai. Ye kaho ki humse mishandling hui hai. India se galti hui, India ne apni galtiyon se apne aap ko alien banaya. Occupation force ke taur pe India ko pesh kiya ja sakta hai, jo cheezein hui hain. Lekin Kashmir is not an occupied territory, apni marzi se hamare saath aaye hue hain,” he said. (“This is not an occupation. It Hurriyat can talk if they drop Pak condition: Malik is another matter if someone chooses to use the occupation term. But no, that is not correct. You can say we have mishandled. India has made mistakes, and its mistakes have, in the process, alienateditself.Because of what has happened, India is being presented as an occupation force. But Kashmir is not an occupied territory, it came to us of its own free will.”) On the apprehension in the Valley that there were moves to tinkerwithArticles370and35A, Malik said “there is nothing to worry about”. “It is possible that we have not kept the promises made at that time but I guarantee that on 370 and 35A, and I havefaithinthe Indianjudiciary, thereisnothingto worry about.” CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 J&K LOCAL POLLS PAGE 6
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.