DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA JOURNALISM OF COURAGE SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 9, 2019, NEW DELHI, LATE CITY, 28 PAGES POLITICAL FIRESTORM OVER MINISTRY’S 2015 NOTE Maya should return funds spent on her statues, says SC EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, FEBRUARY 8 SIGNALLING TROUBLE for BSP chief Mayawati, the Supreme CourtonFridaysaiditwasprimarily of the view that she should return the public funds spent on erecting statues of herself and elephants—herparty’ssymbol— in Uttar Pradesh. The bench, comprising Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and JusticesDeepakGuptaandSanjiv Khanna,washearinga2009petition filed by a group of lawyers against what they alleged was “collusionof therespondents,especially the UP government, CM, UPandrulingBSPtofalselyglorify the incumbent CM and to meet her fanciful whims of putting up statues of her by misusingpublicmoneyandland”. The petition said “the said activity is being carried out as a statepolicy,whichisarbitraryand violativeofArticle14oftheConstitution”. It also challenged “the installationof60elephantstatues ofRs52.20crore,whichistheelectionsymbolofBSP,atpublicplaces byutilisingstatefunds”.Thematter will be heard next on April 2. BUSINESS AS USUAL BY UNNY Rafale: Defence Secy said PMO undermining talks, Govt says Opposition flogging dead horse What was the interference by the National Advisory Council led by Shrimati Sonia Gandhi... Did she interfere? Was that interference? You enforce the law on Robert Vadra and Chidambaram and all others... But you give a reply on the Rafale matter also — NIRMALA SITHARAMAN, DEFENCE MINISTER — RAHUL GANDHI, CONGRESS PRESIDENT Rahul says Govt lied to SC, Sitharaman says PMO inquiries not interference He now says: It was not about parallel negotiations, but parallel viewpoints EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, FEBRUARY 8 LESSTHANtwomonthsafterthe Supreme Court dismissed four petitions seeking a courtmonitored probe into alleged irregularities in the purchase of 36 Rafale fighter aircraft from France, a political firestorm erupted Friday after Congress president Rahul Gandhi, citing a report in The Hindu newspaper, said the Ministry of Defence had objectedto“paralleldiscussions” conducted by the Prime Minister’s Office with Parissince `6.00 (`8 PATNA & RAIPUR, `12 SRINAGAR) WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM SINCE 1932 it “weakened the negotiating position” of the Ministry and the Indian negotiating team. With the spotlight returning totheRafaledealaheadoftheLok Sabha elections and rocking proceedings in the House, the government hit back. Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman attackedtheCongress:“They are floggingadeadhorse...whenperiodically, PMO enquires about theprogressof anywork(it)cannotbeconstruedasinterference.” Addressingapressconference in the morning, Rahul Gandhi said he was also addressing CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 DIPANKAR GHOSE A DAY after targeting the proposed alliance of Opposition parties against the BJP, Prime Minister Narendra Modi Friday again warned against a “mahamilavat” (highly adulterated) government at the Centre. Attacking the Congress, which wrested Chhattisgarh from the BJP after 15 years, Modi toldarallyinRaigarhthatalmost every member of the party’s “parivar” was out on bail and the “chowkidar” was alert and committed to revealing “all of their secrets.” The Prime Minister also slammed the state government Under spotlight again,pollsnear In the run-up to the Lok Sabha polls, the developments will be an irritant for the BJP and the government which stood vindicated after the SC ruling last year. LUCKNOW, FEBRUARY 8 Narendra Modi in Jalpaiguri on Friday. PTI PAGE 8 for “pulling out of Ayushman Bharat” — which the state government denied — and barring the CBI from entering the state. “There is a problem in the Congress because they are already preparing to hide their CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 On GST Council table: Tax relief for real estate, duty relaxation for exporters AANCHAL MAGAZINE & ANIL SASI DUTY RELAXATION for exporters and a tax relief package for the real estate sector are likely to be discussed at the next meeting of the GST Council, which is expected to meet once before the model code of conductkicksinaheadof theLok Sabha elections. Targeting the steady erosion of exportcompetitivenessacross segments, which is especially tellinginlabourintensivesectors such as textiles and garments, theCentreisreadyingaproposal Ailing UP tanneries shut for Kumbh, start shifting to Bengal MANISH SAHU RAIPUR, FEBRUARY 8 NEW DELHI, FEBRUARY 8 NEW DELHI, FEBRUARY 8 ALMOST TEN months before India and France inked the final agreementtopurchase36Rafale aircraft in September 2016, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) had objectedto“parallel”discussions conducted by the Prime Minister’s Office with Paris sayingthis“weakenedthenegotiating position of MoD and Indian Negotiating Team”. According to a report Friday in The Hindu, a Defence Ministry Chowkidar alert, all parivar secrets will be out: PM on Cong for a duty drawback like scheme under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime that could comprehensively compensate exporters for embedded taxes. Also, a ministerial panel setup last month to analyse tax issuesfacedbytherealestatesectorundertheGSTregimeissetto makeastrongpushforlowertax ratesforunder-constructionresidential properties and the affordable housing segment. Currently, under the GST regime, compensation for taxes other than the basic customs duty (BCD) is not given to exporters, which ends up eroding their competitiveness. Officials CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 AT LEAST 12 tanneries in Kanpur have been allotted land by the WestBengalgovernmenttoshift their operations to the state. The allotmentsweremadeduringthe Bengal Global Business Summit. There are 400 tanneries in Kanpur and 40 in neighbouring Unnao district. The UP government had issued a directive to shut these tanneries from December 15, 2018 to March 2019 to stop waste disposal in the Ganga during the Kumbh Mela at Prayagraj. Around four months ago, 80 industrialists in Kanpur applied for land to the West Bengal government to shift their tanneries. Two weeks ago, 12 applications were approved and the applicants were told to collect the allotment letters on Friday, the second day of the Bengal Global Business Summit. “Thelettershavebeenissued by the Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises and Textiles Department. The West Bengal government is giving us land at the rate of Rs 2,150/sq metre in Bantala area where Kolkata’s leather industry is situated,” Javed Iqbal, Regional Chairman, Council for Leather Export (Central region, Kanpur), told The Indian Express. “We have been told by the government during a meeting that allotment letters to other applicantswouldbesentdirectly tothemsoonaftertheapproval,” Iqbal said. Reached for comment, UP Health Minister Sidharth Nath Singhsaid:“Itisuptotheowners CONTINUED ON PAGE 2
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