DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA JOURNALISM OF COURAGE MONDAY, DECEMBER 3, 2018, NEW DELHI, LATE CITY, 20 PAGES `6.00 (`8 PATNA & RAIPUR, `12 SRINAGAR) WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM SINCE 1932 REPORT HIGHLIGHTED BOGUS PURCHASES, OVER-VALUATION OF STOCKS Nirav Modi scam: IT report waved red flags 8 months earlier, was not shared MUMBAI, DECEMBER 2 BOGUS PURCHASES, huge overvaluation of stocks, suspicious payments to relatives, dubious loans — all these and more were red-flagged more than eight months before the Nirav ModiPNB scam broke, in a crucial Income Tax investigation report that was not shared with any other agency. The Income Tax probe report on fugitive diamond jewellers Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi, runningintoabout10,000pages, was finalised by the agency on Choksi, Modi left India in first week of January 2018 June 8, 2017. It was not shared with other agencies like the SeriousFraudInvestigationOffice (SFIO), Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) until February 2018, when the Punjab National Bank(PNB)scambecamepublic. Sources said the tax department, beforeFebruary2018,also didnotshareitsfindingsthrough the Regional Economic Intelligence Council (REIC), a mechanism for sharing of information between various law enforcement agencies. Modi and Choksi, and their three partnership firms, Diamond ‘R’ US, Solar Exports and Stellar DIamonds, are accused of routing Rs 13,500 crore worthof fraudulenttransactions through state-owned PNB. Both E EXPLAINED KHUSHBOO NARAYAN Delayed sharingof informationleft escape route open ● OVER TEN months after the PNB fraud was first reported by the bank, the Indian government and its agencies are desperately trying to get Nirav Modi to face trial in India. So far, all such attempts have been unsuccessful, as in the case of two other economic offenders — Vijay Mallya and Mehul Choksi. Clearly, if the findings of the Income Tax investigation had been flagged to the various agencies at an early stage, it could have acted as a better check on such offences. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Maharashtra allows citizens to inspect govt records under RTI VISHWAS WAGHMODE MUMBAI, DECEMBER 2 THE MAHARASHTRA government has issued a government resolution allowing citizens to inspect records in district-level offices and local bodies across the state under the Right To Information (RTI) for two hours every Monday. Officials from the General Administration Department (GAD) said the move was aimed at bringing transparency in the functioning of the government and to reduce RTI applications and appeals. “Citizens will not need to file RTI applications or pay any fee. Theycandirectlygototheoffices and carry out an inspection of the records,” explained a senior official. All district-level offices and local bodies such as municipal corporations and councils, zilla parishads, among others, have been asked to allow inspection from 3 pm to 5 pm every Monday. If a public holiday falls on Monday, then it should be allowed on the next working day,” said another official. The official said the resolution of November 26 would, however, not be applicable to Mantralaya,thestatesecretariat, CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 WORLD IT’S A DRAW India players celebrate their second goal against Olympic silver-medallists Belgium, who fought back for a 2-2 draw at the Hockey World Cup in Bhubaneswar on Sunday. PTI P17 In election time, where MeToo sits uneasy with Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao VANDITA MISHRA JHUNJHUNU, BHATERI, DEC 2 IN RAJASTHAN, the search for the “women’s vote” can be a zigzag journey where every signpost of change is also a pointer to that which has not changed. Come to Jhunjhunu, where in March this year, the second phase of the national “Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao” campaign was launched. Or come to Bhateri, a village BUSINESS AS USUAL BY UNNY about55kmfromJaipur,tomeet Bhanwari Devi. Her rape in 1992 whileworkinginthegovernment campaignagainstchildmarriage had became a trigger for the Vishakhaguidelineslaiddownby the Supreme Court in 1997 and the law against sexual harassment at the workplace in 2013 — both form the backdrop for the current MeToo movement. But first, to Jhunjhunu and its resident incongruity: In this district, even as the child sex ratio dipped very low (it has NEW DELHI, DECEMBER 2 IF BJP COMESTO POWER, OWAISI WILL HAVE TOFLEE: YOGI P6 RAJASTHAN DECEMBER 7 shown an improvement in recent years), female literacy indicators have remained relatively high. That is, the district has been doing well in girls’ education even as it lagged be- CONTINUED ON PAGE 6 Under fire, NITI Aayog says was told to look at GDP back series data SUNNY VERMA INSIDE DECISION 2018 hind in curbing female foeticide. There are explanations for girls’ education getting an early push in Jhunjhunu: The influence of Arya Samaj movements, the fact that the region sent out a large number of soldiers who became a bridge to the outside world, and because many of the country’s prominent business families hailing from the region set up and donated to educational institutions back home. Ontheotherhand,thetwo-child FACING CRITICISM over the NITI Aayog’s presence at the release of the GDP back series data by theCentralStatisticsOffice(CSO) last week, Aayog Vice-Chairman RajivKumarsaidhisdepartment was asked to “have a look” at the data before it was released. He also said the government was open to making any improvements if factual and methodological errors were pointed out in the calculation of data. NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar Many economists have questioned the NITI Aayog’s role in the release of the statistical exercise of CSO, which comes under the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI). “Everybody knows that until nottoolongago,theDepartment of Statistics was part of the PlanningCommission.Therehave always been close links between the two, simply because we use data so extensively and we work together. For example, the task force on employment statistics was chaired by my predecessor. Itsrecommendationsarenowbeing implemented by the CSO. In this case also, when they were about to release the back series, CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 INTERVIEW PAGE 13 Parched Until Year Ago, Village Digs Deep Into Resolve To See Water Table Rise TRACKING CHANGE» PAGE 1 ANCHOR EVERY MONDAY VIVEK DESHPANDE For all Change stories, log on to www.indianexpress.com/change Witness Change? Write to us at email@example.com GANESHWADI (YAVATMAL), DECEMBER 2 LAST YEAR in November, Ganeshwadi, a hamlet of Kolam tribalsinMaharastra’sYavatmal, was the first in the district to get water supply through tankers. This year, the village doesn’t need tankers — it has enough water to last this season and next summer. Whatmadethispossiblewas A reservoir in Ganeshwadi that was recharged. Deepak Daware a unique inter-departmental initiativeof theMaharashtragovernmentundertheMaharashtra Village Social Transformation Mission (MVSTM). The village sits on a water- shed in the hilly forested patch of Kalamb tehsil, as a result of which rainwater runs down the slopes, leaving Ganeshwadi, a village of 803 people, dry. Villagers had to walk several kilometers for water. Not anymore. With five CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 FRANCE MULLS EMERGENCY AFTER WORST UNREST IN DECADES KHASHOGGI: SAUDI PRINCE WAS IN TOUCH WITH KILL TEAM, SAYS REPORT PAGE 12 AN ICIJ-EXPRESS INVESTIGATION Law on medical devices has waited 12 years NITI Aayog meeting notes it will bring in ‘more control, curb growth’ RITU SARIN NEW DELHI, DECEMBER 2 SUCCESSIVE GOVERNMENTS in India have neglected the medical devices sector. For over 12 years, aproposedlegislation, the Medical Device Regulation Bill, has awaited enactment. The Bill was first drafted in 2006 when the UPA was in power. It was never legislated. Under the NDA, a Group of Ministers (GoM) was constituted under Finance Minister Arun Jaitley but in 2016, a decision was taken to postpone its legislation and introduce instead the Medical Device Rules and Regulations. For the government, this seemed adequate for the sector. As recently as July this year, at a NITI Aayog Committee of Secretaries (CoS) meeting chaired by CEO Amitabh Kant, it was noted how views have been expressed by some Secretaries who felt there was no need to bring in an exclusive piece of legislation to govern medical devices. Their logic: having a separate legislation will bring in “more control” and “curtail growth and innovation” in the fast-expanding medical devices industry. The new Rules were circulated in 2017 and notified on January 1, 2018. The 241-page guidelines laid down the fundamentaldesignand manufacturingrequirements for 594 medical devices, and classified them into four categories (A,B,C and D) depending on their being highrisk or low-risk. A statement from the Health Ministry stated that the new Rules brought medical devices in conformity with the framework of the Global Harmonization Task Force (GHTF) and did away with the system of periodic renewal of licences for medical device manufacturers or importers. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 At a NITI Aayog meeting in July, it was felt that a separate medical device Bill would ‘curtail innovation’
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