DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA JOURNALISM OF COURAGE FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 8, 2019, PUNE, 18 + 4 (NEWSLINE) PAGES FIRST MONETARY POLICY REVIEW UNDER NEW GOVERNOR RBI cuts rate, signals further softening to focus on growth BUSINESS AS USUAL BY UNNY Repo rate cut by 25 basis points; home, personal loans likely to come down GEORGE MATHEW MUMBAI, FEBRUARY 7 Act against IPS officers at Mamata rally, Centre tells West Bengal RAHUL TRIPATHI NEW DELHI, FEBRUARY 7 INWHATcouldintensifythefaceoff betweentheCentreandChief Minister Mamata Banerjee, the Union Home Ministry Thursday asked the West Bengal Chief Secretary to take action against five IPS officers, who shared the stage with Banerjee during her sit-in protest against the CBI. Home Ministry sources said that it is also considering punitive action, including stripping meritorious awards or barring them from central deputation, against the police officers. ThemovecomestwodaysafterBanerjeeendedherthree-day dharna in Kolkata against the recentattemptofCBIofficialstoraid Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar’s residence in connection with a chit fund case probe.Sheendedtheprotestafter the Supreme Court directed KumartoappearbeforetheCBIin Shillong, the Meghalaya capital, andorderednocoercivesteps,including his arrest, will take place during the course of the probe. Writing to the Bengal Chief CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 EXPRESS NETWORK INX MEDIA CASE: WANT TO BE APPROVER, INDRANI TELLS COURT, PAGE 5 THE RESERVE Bank of India (RBI) surprised the markets Thursday by reducing its key policy rate — thereporate—by25basispoints from6.50percentto6.25percent inthefirstmonetarypolicyreview after new Governor Shaktikanta Das took charge, signalling its intention to focus on growth given the benign outlook on inflation. The Monetary Policy Committee(MPC),headedbythe Governor,alsodecidedtoshiftthe monetarypolicystancefrom‘calibrated tightening’ to ‘neutral’, indicatingthattherecouldbefurther softeningofrates.ItwaswidelyexpectedaheadofThursday’smeeting that the MPC mayleaveinterest rates unchanged but could movetoa‘neutral’policystance. The decision to change the monetary policy stance was unanimous. But on lowering the repo rate — the rate at which the central bank lends to banks — MPC members Ravindra H Dholakia, Pami Dua, Michael DebabrataPatraandShaktikanta DasvotedinfavourwhileChetan Ghate and RBI Deputy Governor ViralVAcharyavotedtokeepthe policy rate unchanged. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 FULL COVERAGE PAGE 13 RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das with his team in Mumbai, Thursday. Prashant Nadkar SUNNY VERMA NEW DELHI, FEBRUARY 7 AN INCREASED reliance on the National Small Savings Fund (NSSF) and issue of recapitalisation bonds has helped the government to improve its fiscal affairs but its headline deficit number does not fully reflect the underlying pressures from a delayed fiscal consolidation plan. The Centre is on course to raise Rs 2.35 lakh crore through these two means: an estimated Rs 1.25 lakh crore from the NSSF and Rs 1,10,500 crore via recapitalisation bonds. The NSSF share in financing of fiscal deficit is projected to rise to 18.5 per cent in 2019-20, up from 12 per cent in 2018-19, according to last week’s Budget documents. The NSSF collects funds through small savings schemes, RAIPUR, FEBRUARY 7 Exchangeoffire AllegedMaoistskilled Maoistssurrendered Maoistsarrested Weaponsrecovered IEDsrecovered Civilianskilled Policepersonnelkilled IEDblasts 2016 211 135 1,214 978 311 292 60 40 67 CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 state intelligence unit had received inputs of the presence of a Maoist training camp in WiththeBillstuckinParliament, the government last month promulgated an ordinance banning the practice. Sources in the Congress said Dev has already told the Congress manifesto committee that the party should promise NEW DELHI, FEBRUARY 7 Rahul Gandhi at the Congress minority unit meeting. PTI 2017 198 77 366 1,027 222 262 58 59 68 2018 166 124 465 1,145 285 275 89 52 77 Total 575 336 2,045 3,150 818 829 207 151 212 Source: Chhattisgarh Police Will scrap triple talaq law if voted to power, says Mahila Congress chief ASTHEamendedtripletalaqBill, which mandates imprisonment for violators, remains stuck in Rajya Sabha, senior Congress leaderandMahilaCongresschief Sushmita Dev Thursday said the party, if voted to power, would scrapthelawwhichcriminalises the instant divorce practice. such as Post Office Savings Account, National Savings Time Deposits, National Savings Recurring Deposits, National Savings Monthly Income Scheme. It is a costlier form of borrowing for the government as compared to market loans. The reliance on the NSSF enabled the government to reduce its market borrowings. And, the funds raised by way of recapitalisation bonds, mainly to boost public sector banks and EXIM Bank,helpeditfinancerecordequity infusion in state-owned banks without jeopardising the overallfiscalmath.Onthebooks, thegovernmentneedstoaccount foronlytheinterestpaymentson recapitalisation bonds. However, it has missed its deficit reduction target for the second year in a row, with projections at ARRESTS, CIVILIAN DEATHS UP DIPANKAR GHOSE MANOJ C G CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 RELATED REPORTS PAGE 8 Abhujhmaad, around 30 km from the town of Bhairamgarh. CONTINUEDONPAGE2 WORLD TALIBAN PEACE TALKS END WITH HOPE THAT US EXITS IS WILL LOSE ALL TERRITORY IN A WEEK: TRUMP PAGE 12 What’s a working day? BCCI clueless, pays out lakhs PAGE 1 ANCHOR SHAMIK CHAKRABARTY & DEVENDRA PANDEY KOLKATA, MUMBAI, FEBRUARY 7 FOR48“workingdays”acrossfive months, two cricket administrators in Mumbai were paid a total of Rs 1.18 crore. At least on one of those days, records show, the work was watching an IPL game. For 30 “working days”, two administrators in Hyderabad re- CoA members Vinod Rai and Diana Edulji. File ceived a total of Rs 75 lakh. For them, a working day was when they officially met to discuss the PM tears into Cong, warns against mahamilavat ki sarkar Kartarpur: Pak team to visit on March 13 LIZ MATHEW SHUBHAJIT ROY SHARPLY DRAWING the battlelines for the Lok Sabha elections, Prime Minister Narendra Modi slammed the Congress party, framing his government’s 55 months against its 55 years in power, and warned against a “mahamilavat” (highly adulterated) government if his party wasn’t voted back. Speaking Thursday in what could be his last speech in the 16th Lok Sabha, Modi accused theCongressof bullyingthejudiciary, compromising with the national interest and humiliating the Army. He also presented a report card of his government trying to IN THE first set of bilateral meetings on activating the Kartarpur corridor, a Pakistani delegation will visit India on March 13 to discuss the modalities for the cross-border pilgrimage. Pakistan has also proposed a reciprocal visit by an Indian delegation 15 days later to “finalise the draft agreement”. The meetings will be held to facilitate the travel of Sikh pilgrims to Darbar Sahib Kartarpur Gurudwara in Narowal, nearly 4 km from the Gurdaspur border. “Inaspiritof constructiveengagement #Pakistan has proposed to India that the Pakistan delegation may visit #India on 13 March followed by the return visit of the Indian delegation to Pakistan on 28 March to finalise the draft agreement for the #kartarpur corridor,” Pakistan Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mohammad Faisal posted on Twitter. Ministry of External Affairs official spokesperson Raveesh Kumar posted on Twitter: “We welcome the visit of #Pakistan team to discuss and finalise modalities for facilitating visit of pilgrims through #Kartarpur SahibCorridoron13March2019 to India. Follow up meeting can be held in Pakistan, as required.” India has also asked Pakistan NEW DELHI, FEBRUARY 7 NEW DELHI, FEBRUARY 7 Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Lok Sabha, Thursday. PTI rebut the criticism on his government on job creation and measures for farmers. Replying to the debate on the motion of thanks to President’s address in Lok Sabha, the Prime Minister Meanwhile, a costly short-term borrowing: Dip into small savings You came on false promises, In first operation after polls, 10 Naxals killed in Chhattisgarh IN THE first major operation after the new Congress government assumed power in Chhattisgarh, ten Maoists were killed and at least eleven weapons recovered after an encounterinBijapurdistrict.Senior police officials said the alleged Maoistsareyettobeidentifiedas the firefight took place deep inside the forests of Abhujhmaad, and that police teams were still returning to the camp. State DGP D M Awasthi said that “two to three days ago”, the `5.00 WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM SINCE 1932 cricket association’s affairs. So what really is a working day?It’saquestionthathasledto abizarresituationincricket,with different scales of payment for the administrators appointed by courtstoimplementtheJusticeR M Lodha recommendations at theBCCIanditsunitsinMumbai, Hyderabad, J&K and Delhi. It has also resulted in the BCCI’s Committee of Administrators (CoA) — former cricketer Diana Edulji and bureaucrat Vinod Rai — not getting paid from the time the Supreme Court handed them the reins of Indian cricket two years ago. In contrast, former judges in charge of other BCCI units have CONTINUEDONPAGE2 CONTINUEDONPAGE2 not stopped lying: Kharge DEEPTIMAN TIWARY A mini stimulus aheadof polls THE CUT is in sync with the Union Budget which put more money in the hands of the middle class and also gave a fillip, specifically to the real estate sector. Lower rates will spur spending and push consumption demand, the traditional growth driver in the country. Clearly, flagging growth is a concern before elections. NEW DELHI, FEBRUARY 7 ACCUSING PRIME Minister Narendra Modi of weakening democratic institutions and using the President’s address to score political points and exaggerate the government’s performance, Leader of Congress in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge Thursday said “you came to power by making false promises and have still not stopped lying and misleading people”. Participating in a discussion on the motion of thanks to the President’s address, Kharge called the PM arrogant who, in his “hatred”, was not ready to recognise the Congress contribution to the progress of the DECISION 2019 A daily Explainer on THE QUESTIONS THAT MATTER Can Cong assembly poll showing translate to Lok Sabha? PAGE6 RELATED REPORT PAGE 8 country since Independence. Kharge quoted Basavanna, CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 THE EDITORIAL PAGE THE POLITICS OF ANTI-CORRUPTION BY PRATAP BHANU MEHTA PAGE 10
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