DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA SANDEEP SINGH NEW DELHI, APRIL 14 AS THREE of the country’s biggest fund houses, Reliance Mutual Fund, Kotak Mahindra Mutual Fund and HDFC Mutual Fund, grapple with the consequences of having invested in Essel Group companies Konti Infrapower and Edisons Utility three years ago, the books of these two entities show that the fund houses made a beeline to subscribe to the debt instruments of the two companies even as they reported losses and had negative net worth. According to Registrar of Companies(RoC)documents,on aggregate,thethreefundhouses hadinvestedatleastRs960crore in the two Essel group companies in 2015-16. While Reliance MF said it will not comment on individual investments, HDFC MF and Kotak MF said their investments in the two Essel Group firms were backed by the collateral of Zee shares. The non-convertible debentures of these two companies were subscribed by Reliance Mutual Fund, Kotak Mahindra THE CITY Mutual Fund and HDFC Mutual Fund in 2015-16 and have now turnedilliquid.Notonlywerethe two companies loss-making but thedebtsecuritiesthatKontiand Edisons subsequently subscribed to was of another Essel group entity, Pan India Infrastructure—alsoaloss-making entity. In the year ended March 2016, while Konti Infra reported a net loss of Rs 53.3 crore on total revenue of Rs 5.83 crore, EdisonsUtilityreportedanet loss of Rs 52.7 crore on total revenueof Rs40,000.Documentsof Konti accessed from its filings with the Registrar of Companies shows that while it offered a coupon rate of 11.1 per cent per annum on the non-convertible debentures subscribed by mutual funds, it, in turn, subscribed to debentures worth Rs 561 crore issued by Pan India Infraprojects that carried a coupon rate of only 0.1 per cent per annum for the first three years. Besides, Pan India Infra was also a loss-making entity. Pan India Infrastructure reported a loss of Rs 6.79 crore on total revenue of Rs 1,696 crore in CONTINUEDONPAGE2 REG.NO. MCS/067/2018 - 20 RNI REGN. NO. 1543/57 JOURNALISM OF COURAGE MONDAY, APRIL 15, 2019, MUMBAI, LATE CITY, 18 PAGES Two Essel firms were in red, but top mutual funds lent them Rs 960 crore ● `5.00, WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM SINCE 1932 KATHUA, ALIGARH Pak hopes for talks post polls; PM says crushed its n-threat At Jammu rally, Modi says ‘Pak used to give nuclear threats... those days gone’ RITIKA CHOPRA & KRISHN KAUSHIK NEW DELHI, APRIL 14 ARUN SHARMA & SOURAV ROY BARMAN KATHUA, ALIGARH, APRIL 14 ADDRESSING a rally in Jammu on Sunday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said Islamabad’s nuclear threats had been blown to bits, adding that he didn’t bow before any such “dhamki”. He also accused the Congress of “stopping the Army fromtakingstrongactionagainst terrorists”, as it feared “a 1962type situation”. At the rally in Kathua, he accused National Conference and Peoples Democratic Party leaders of issuing threats of “seceding from India” every day. “Yeh pehle Pakistan bhi nuclear ki dhamki deta tha. Uski nuclear ke parkhachchey nikal gaye ki nahin (Earlier Pakistan too used to give nuclear threats. Haven’t we CONTINUED ON PAGE 4 Why EC frowned on DD coverage: BJP got 160 hrs in a month, Cong 80 PM Modi with BJP leaders at the rally in Aligarh on Sunday. Gajendra Yadav Need for an objective narrative on Pak to help ties: Outgoing envoy MANASH PRATIM BHUYAN Mahmood is next Pak Foreign Secretary NEW DELHI, APRIL 14 PAKISTAN IS hoping for “re-engagement” with India after the Lok Sabha polls as structured dialoguewillhelpthetwocountries understandmutualconcerns,resolve disputes and build the edi- ficeofdurablepeaceandsecurity, Pakistani High Commissioner Sohail Mahmood has said. In an interview to PTI, Mahmood, who has been appointed Pakistan’s next Foreign Secretary, said there was a need foran“objective”narrativeabout Pakistan in India which could facilitatepeaceful,cooperativeand goodneighbourlyties.“Wehope forre-engagementaftertheelections in India. Diplomacy and CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 FOR ALMOST a month after the announcement of the Lok Sabha elections, the BJP got nearly 160 hours of “airtime coverage” on DD News and its regional channels while the Congress managed half of that, The Indian Express has learnt. According to a report shared by DD News with the Election Commission (EC) on April 5, on the airtime provided to all political parties from the announcementof thepollstillthatday, the principalopposition party stood secondintermsof coveragewith roughly 80 hours, followed by the CPM with eight hours. It was based on this report that the EC, on April 9, called the DDairtimetoparties“disproportionate” and “not balanced”. It asked the Information and Broadcasting(I&B)Ministrytodirect DD News to “desist from extending any preferential or disproportionate airtime coverage in favour of any party”. A senior source at the public ClearEC norms on matter EC’S GUIDELINES for DD and AIR clearly state that the two public broadcasters should provide fair and balanced coverage of campaigning, plus speeches. By balanced, it means no party should be given “substantially more coverage than the others” and this balance need not be achieved in a single day or story but over a reasonable time, say one week. broadcaster justified the above break-up on the ground that the BJP has a majority of the seats in the Lok Sabha and is in power in 16 states, while the Congress is CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 On 4 UP seats, potato, 3 yrs of losses to count For Modi, Mangaluru to see even DECISION unpopular BJP candidates through 2019 HARISH DAMODARAN AGRA, FATEHPUR SIKRI, APRIL 14 ‘PARTIES THINK THEM TALKING ABOUT MUSLIMS WILL ANTAGONISE THE MAJORITY’ 18,000 ELIGIBLE HAWKERS YET TOGET PITCHES PAGE 3 THE EDITORIAL PAGE THEHEALTHFOR ALLCHALLENGE BY K SRINATH REDDY PAGE 8 IFITwasganna(sugarcane)inthe first, it’s aloo (potato) that could be decisive in at least four of the eightLokSabhaconstituenciesof Uttar Pradesh voting in the second phase on April 18. PotatoisamajorcropinAgra, grown in 57,879 hectares of the district (2017-18 data) that includes both Agra and Fatehpur Sikri.Thetuberisalsoextensively cultivated in Hathras (46,333 hectares) and Aligarh (23,332). While polls to these four southwestUPseatsareonApril18,the other three big aloo constituenciesvotelater:Firozabad(48,589 hectares) on April 23, and Kannauj (50,089) and BY UNNY MANGALURU, APRIL 14 KANHAIYA IN THE BALANCE, CASTE MAY TRUMP CLASS P 7 At a potato farmer’s field near Agra. Harish Damodaran Farrukhabad(35,168)onApril29. “Yahan ka mudda aloo hi hai (the main issue here is potato),” says Pradeep Sharma, whose family jointly farms 27 bigha (15 acres) in Nagla Nathu village falling in Fatehpur Sikri constituency.NaglaNathuhasabout 800 voters, comprising an estimated300Rajputsand100each from the Brahmin, Prajapati (potter), Baghel (shepherd) and Top players shown born in auto, forest: Parents in plea on badminton age fraud SHIVANI NAIK MUMBAI, APRIL 14 BUSINESS AS USUAL JOHNSON T A SEVERAL TOP badminton juniors were born at home, one opened his eyes to the world in anauto-rickshawandanotherin a forest; some joined school beforetheystartedwalking; others gotbirthcertificatesissuedyears after they were born; and a few have two dates of birth in Badminton Association of India (BAI) records. These were among the abnormalitieshighlighted in a writ petition filed by 37 parents whose wards they say quit the sport after losing to over-age players. Taking cognizance of the petition, the Karnataka High Court Friday directed the BAI to “consider the representation” and take a decision on it “in accordance with the law... within three weeks”. The BAI counsel assured the court that the representation of the parents will be dealt with. BAI secretary Ajay Singhania said they will consult lawyers to prepare their response. “We have taken a lot of steps to deal withage-fraud.Already,if someone has a delayed birth certificate, we order them to conduct medical tests. We only rely on government hospitals, and in case of doubt, we’ll sendthem to AIIMS. Who will doubt AIIMS?” he said. The petition, backed by several documents like CBSE vigilance reports, birth certificates, officialhospital letters, police inquiry statements and BAI records, says age fudging is rampant and alleged that among the cheats are those who have represented India in age-group events. It points out that nine of the top 22 players in the under-17 boys category, four of the top 18 intheU-15boys,sevenof thetop 16 in U-17 girls and five of 15 in the U-15 girls have delayed birth CONTINUEDONPAGE2 Jatav Dalit communities. The 39-year-old Sharma, a Brahmin, makes no secret of his displeasure at potato prices. “Mota aloo (normallargepotato) is being sold from our fields at Rs 300-350 per 50-kg bag (Rs 67/kg), while it is Rs 200-250 for gulla (medium) and Rs 100-150 forkirri (small)varieties.Andthe rates have been low for more than three years now, especially CONTINUEDONPAGE2 WORLD ASSANGE TO COOPERATE WITH SWEDEN, FIGHT US WARRANT, SAYS LAWYER TERROR FINANCING: FATF ASKS PAK TO TRACK ALL GOLD PURCHASES PAGE 11 With a little help from friends and govt, new lease of life for border school TRACKING CHANGE» PAGE 1 ANCHOR EVERY MONDAY RAAKHI JAGGA For all Change stories, log on to www.indianexpress.com/change Witness Change? Write to us at email@example.com CHANANWALA (FAZILKA), APRIL 14 UNTILSEPTEMBERlastyear,little separated Government Primary School at Chananwala village in FazilkafromtheothersinPunjab. About 13 km from Fazilka city, and among the last schools near the India-Pakistan border, it too had leaking roofs and blocked bathrooms, students had started moving to private schools and there were few blackboards or lights in classrooms. Then, on October 1, 2018, Lovejeet Singh Grewal took At the school in Chananwala in Fazilka. Gurmeet Singh charge of this school as Head Master. And in less than six months, with help from his friends, and government schemes including the MGNREGA, the school has been ren- ovated. It now sports a new library and computer lab and furniture and air conditioners have been installed in most classrooms. Workhasbegunonanopengym and experts have been roped in toteachVedicMaths,Calligraphy and Abacus. There are also coaches for Karate, Giddha, Bhangra and Gatka. The Chananwala school is an English medium school now but older students have an option to pursue studies in Punjabi. In the new session, English will be the medium Class 1 onwards. And all new facilities come with no extra cost,thankstoGrewal’senterprise. Speaking to The Indian Express, Grewal said the school had enough space, and a dozen rooms, but their condition was deplorable. “When I joined Chananwalaschool,somerooms werejustdumpyards.Theschool badly needed a whitewash. There weren’t lights or even blackboards in classrooms. I and my friend Navdeep Asija, President, Graduates Welfare Association of Fazilka (GWAF), chalked out a renovation plan,” he said. The plan included tapping the MGNREGA scheme to build parks, pathways with interlocking tiles, and boundary walls. Then, they approached voluntary donors for resources. And the turnaround shows. The CONTINUEDONPAGE2 When Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived at the Mangaluru airport in Dakshina Kannada on April13,fanslinedupalonga15km stretch of the city to see him. BJP workers and activists of Sangh Parivar groups regulated thetraffic,ensuringsmoothflow of buses with their load of youths,shouting‘Modi,Modi’,to the rally at Nehru Naidan. Those who couldn’t enter the packed ground pulled down barricades to get in. “This is a sea of saffron... On my way I was wondering if anyone would be here because so Dressed as chowkidars on way to a Modi rally. Johnson T A many were lined up along the road,”Modiremarkedattherally. The April 13 meeting reflected the support for Modi in Mangaluru, which is unparallelled across Karnataka in the run-up to the polls. The BJP’s CONTINUED ON PAGE 2
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