eye THE SUNDAY EXPRESS MAGAZINE Find Me on a Hill in Imphal NEW DELHI,LATE CITY AUGUST 30, 2020 ‘Battlefield diggers’ look for remains of soldiers who died in Manipur hills in WWII 18 PAGES, ` 6.00 (`8 PATNA & RAIPUR, ` 12 SRINAGAR) DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA PRANAV MUKUL & GEORGE MATHEW NEW DELHI, MUMBAI, AUGUST 29 MUKESH AMBANI’S Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) has agreed to acquire the retail business of Kishore Biyani’s Future Group in a mega deal involving a consideration of Rs 24,713 crore. After months of negotiations, Reliance Retail Ventures Ltd (RRVL), a subsidiary of RIL, announced Saturday that it is acquiring the retail and wholesale business, including the Big Bazaar hypermarket chain, and the logistics and warehousing business from the Future Group as going concern on a slump sale basis. Biyani, who was known as the EXPLAINED Metro to start Sept 7, no state lockdowns outside containment zones E Why this is key to ● RIL plans THE DEAL strengthens RIL’s position in the country’s retail ecosystem by enabling it to control nearly a third of organised retail revenues, and also bolsters Reliance’s own retail plans. The company recently launched its online grocery portal under the JioMart brand and the cross-linkages between Future Group’s large logistical and warehousing footprint will add to its presence in retail and wholesale businesses. Students can visit schools, colleges; gatherings of up to 100 from Sept 21 DEEPTIMAN TIWARY NEW DELHI, AUGUST 29 AWARDS, VIRTUALLY Boxer Lovlina Borgohain with her Arjuna Award citation at the UT Secretariat in Chandigarh on Saturday. The awards were held online, with players logging in from across the country or turning up at fixed venues. Kamleshwar Singh REPORT, PAGE 18 GST COMPENSATION “retail king”, was overburdened with a debt ofRs 12,778 crore and faced repayment issues. Centre gives states 2 options: easier terms CWC AND LETTER OF 23 ‘No one stepped in when for lower borrowing CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 we were attacked, not one concern addressed’ P5 MANOJ C G NEW DELHI, AUGUST 29 NOT ONE ofthe concerns they had raised was either addressed — or even shared — at the Congress Working Committee meeting and no leader stepped in when those who wrote the letter were attacked, said senior leader Kapil Sibal who is one ofthe 23 signatories to the unprecedented letter calling for reforms in the party. Speaking to The Indian Express, which first reported on the letter last Sunday, (full text of the letter is at indianexpress.com), Sibal said Saturday that the Congress needs a “de jure and a de facto president” and the concerns outlined in the letter should be CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 SUNDAY STORY PAGE 13 THE VACCINE VOLUNTEERS Meet six who have signed up for ‘Covishield’ trials My ISOLATION A weekly window into lives of India’s newsmakers, impact of the pandemic on them PAGE 12 ‘I spend 8-10 hrs in front of screen. Can’t complain’ SHIVRAJ SINGH CHOUHAN MADHYA PRADESH CM THE EXPRESS INTERVIEW POLITICS IN THIS COUNTRY IS BASED NOW PRIMARILY ON LOYALTY. WE NEED LOYALTY PLUS KAPIL SIBAL DEAR CONGRESS PRESIDENT: THE FULL TEXT WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM Option 1 won’t be treated as state debt; in Option 2, need to service interest on debt AANCHAL MAGAZINE NEW DELHI, AUGUST 29 TWO DAYS after the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council meeting, the Centre Saturday detailed the borrowing options proposed to states for meeting this year’s compensation shortfall of Rs 2.35 lakh crore under the indirect tax regime. Option 1 has a special window for states, coordinated by the Finance Ministry, to borrow the projected shortfall of Rs 97,000 crore only on account of GST implementation — and not the Covid-19 pandemic — and this amount can be fully repaid from the compensation cess fund, without being counted as states’ debt. Option 2 takes into account the impact of the pandemic, proposing states to borrow the entire Rs 2.35 lakh crore and bear- ing the interest burden though principal will be repaid from the cess proceeds. The GST shortfall amount (Rs 97,000 crore) will not be counted as states’ debt, while the rest of the amount of Rs 1.38 lakh crore will be counted in the books of the states. Finance Secretary and Expenditure Secretary will hold a meeting with state finance secretaries on Tuesday to clarify issues regarding these two borrowing options. The sharing of interest burden in the second option has been modified from what was announced Thursday. Finance Secretary Ajay Bhushan Pandey had then said, “So far as the repayment of loans is concerned in both the options, it will be made through the cess collected in the 6th year, 7th year or whatever time it takes to repay the CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Soldier killed in Pulwama leaves behind dreams of cycling gold AMIL BHATNAGAR & BASHAARAT MASOOD MUZAFFARNAGAR, SRINAGAR, AUGUST 29 Raina returns to India as positive cases rise in CSK ahead of IPL DEVENDRA PANDEY MUMBAI, AUGUST 29 FORMER INDIA player and Chennai Super Kings star Suresh Raina has pulled out of the Indian Premier League that starts September 19 in the UAE. On Saturday morning, a statement on the CSK official Twitter handle said Raina had returned to India because of personal reasons and the franchise offered “complete support to Suresh and his family during this time”. Later in the day, the BCCI, in a press release, said 13 ‘Personal personnel in the UAE, inreasons’ cluding two players, had tested positive for Covid-19. While the Indian board didn’t identify those who have been infected, it is learnt that all are from the CSK tour party. Incidentally, CSK is the only team that conducted a five-day camp in Chennai before flying to the UAE. Those in the know say that though Raina’s test was clear, the rising number of Covid cases around him and the subsequent extension of the quarantine period for CSK resulted in the lefthander taking this step. Raina’s exit came as a CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 THREE WEEKS ago, Sepoy Prashant Sharma, 23, told his childhood friend Pariskshit Sharma over the phone from Kashmir that he was "lucky to have survived a military operation". On Saturday evening, Parikshit sat in disbelief at Sharma's house in village Budhana in Uttar Pradesh's Muzaffarnagar, hours after news trickled in that the soldier had been killed in an encounter with militants in Pulwama in the wee hours of the day. Sharma was to return home two days later, and was supposed WORLD At the wreath laying ceremony in Srinagar. ANI; Left: Sepoy Prashant Sharma’s grieving father in Muzaffarnagar. Gajendra Yadav to get married on December 6. His brother Nishant, a year younger, said Sharma called home on Friday night at 8.30. "He said he was going for a routine operation. We also discussed his wedding preparations. ‘BLACK PANTHER’ CHADWICK BOSEMAN DIES OF CANCER AT 43 PAGE 14 CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 NCRB data: Higher share of Dalits, tribals, Muslims in prison than numbers outside PAGE 1 ANCHOR DEEPTIMAN TIWARY NEW DELHI, AUGUST 29 THE LATEST data on prisons released by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) show that Dalits, tribals and Muslims continue to be jailed in numbers disproportionate to their share in the population, unlike OBCs and those belonging to the general category or upper castes. The data, for the year 2019, also show that among the marginalised groups, Muslims are the one community which has more undertrials than convicts. At the end of 2019, Dalits made up 21.7% of all convicts in jails across the country. The share of Scheduled Castes among undertrials languishing in jails stood at 21%. The 2011 Census put their share in the population at 16.6%. In the case of tribals, the gap was equally big. While the Scheduled Tribes made up 13.6% of the convict population, and PAGES 15, 16, 17 UNLOCK 4.0: CENTRE’S GUIDELINES Reliance Retail adds Future Group firms to its shopping cart Sale of Big Bazaar, Easyday part of Rs 24,713-cr deal WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM STATUS REPORT CON UT POP SC 21.7 21 16.6 ST 13.6 10.5 8.6 OBC 35 34 41 Muslim 16.6 18.7 14.2 Rest* 19.6 13 16 Con = Convicts, UT = Undertrial, POP = Population *Rest includes General Category All figures in percentage share OBC numbers as per NSSO data Other numbers, Census 2011 10.5% of all undertrials in jails, the Census put their numbers at 8.6% of the population. With a population share of 14.2%, Muslims formed 16.6% of all convicts, but 18.7% of all undertrials. This convict to undertrial ratio was reversed in case of both the Dalits and tribals. “The data show that our criminal justice system is not only tardy but also loaded against the poor. Those who can hire good lawyers get bail easily and also have a fair shot at justice. The poor also tend to get sucked into petty crimes for lack of economic opportunities,” former chief of Bureau of Police Research and Development N R Wasan said. The numbers are stark when compared to the share of OBCs and non-marginalised population in the various categories. While forming 41% of the population as per the National Sample Survey Organisation 2006 data, they represented 35% and 34% of the convicts and undertrials respectively. The others broadly include upper caste Hindus and nonmarginalised sections from CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 METRO SERVICES will start from September 7, larger gatherings will be allowed in a limited manner from September 21, while senior students can come to schools on a voluntary basis. The Centre's step-by-step opening up post-coronavirus lockdown is set to see major relaxations in Unlock 4.0, which was unveiled on Saturday. The guidelines issued by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs say that states can no longer impose lockdowns outside containment zones without the Centre's permission and must not seal borders. Metro trains will run for the first time since March starting September 7, "in a graded manner" while social, academic, sports, entertainment, cultural, religious and political functions can be held with a maximum 100 people from September 21. The Centre has also allowed operation of open air theatres from September 21. While schools and colleges will remain shut till September end, they can call in 50% of their teachers for facilitating online teaching. Students of classes 9 to 12 can visit schools on a “voluntary basis” to clear their doubts. The only activities expressly prohibited under the new guidelines are opening of cinema halls, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theatres (excluding open air theatres) and similar places with a high risk of spread of the virus. International air travel of passengers, except as permitted by the MHA, and train services will remain restricted. On Metro services, the guidelines say, “Metro rail will be allowed to operate with effect from 7th September 2020 in a graded manner." It says the Ministry of Railways and Urban Affairs will run the trains in consultation with the MHA, and the WHAT’S ALLOWED ■ Metro from Sept 7 ■ Congregations of up to 100 people from Sept 21, including for sports ■ 50% teachers in schools, colleges for online classes ■ Students in schools on “voluntary basis” if parents permit ■ Open air theatres ■ Higher education institutes requiring research and lab work for PG and PhD WHAT’S NOT ■ Cinema halls ■ Swimming pools ■ Entertainment parks ■ Theatres RESTRICTED ■ International air travel ■ Train services RELATED REPORT, PAGE 3 CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 China in Russia military exercise, India opts out citing pandemic KRISHN KAUSHIK NEW DELHI, AUGUST 29 INDIA HAS pulled out of a multilateral tri-services military exercise being hosted by Russia next month because of the participation of a Chinese contingent. India was one ofthe countries scheduled to participate in Kavkaz 2020 from September 15 to September 27. Members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisat- ion, central Asian nations, Turkey and Iran will be sending contingents to Russia for the exercise. On Friday, India cited the Covid-19 pandemic as the reason to turn down Russia’s invitation, but sources in the defence establishment said India did not want to participate in a friendly exercise alongside Chinese troops at a time when the two countries are involved in a tense military standoff in Ladakh. In a statement, the Ministry of Defence said: “Russia and India are close and privileged strategic partners. At Russia's invitation, India has been participating in many international events. However, in view of Pandemic and consequent difficulties in exercise, including arrangements of logistics, India has decided not to send a contingent this year to Kavkaz-2020. The same has been informed to the Russian side.” CONTINUED ON PAGE 2
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.