DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA ● REG.NO. MCS/067/2018 - 20 RNI REGN. NO. 1543/57 JOURNALISM OF COURAGE TUESDAY, OCTOBER 13, 2020, MUMBAI, LATE CITY, 16 PAGES `5.00, WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM SINCE 1932 MEASURES TO BOOST CONSUMPTION Govt targets Rs 1 lakh cr spend by March-end, announces new LTC voucher, festival advance SUNNY VERMA & AANCHAL MAGAZINE NEW DELHI, OCTOBER 12 TO STIMULATE growth in the economy, the government on Mondayannouncedatwinsetof measures to boost consumption demand and capital expenditure, which along with participation of the private sector, are estimated to result in quick spending of more than Rs 1 lakh crore by March-end. Through the Leave Travel Concession (LTC) voucher scheme, which can be availed by privatesectoremployeesaswell, and a festival advance for governmentemployees,theFinance Ministry has tried to advance consumption of non-essential, relatively high-value goods and services in the economy. Like in the earlier leg of its relief package in May, the series of announcements made by the Finance Ministry on Monday continued with the basic design of leveraging a degree of stimulus with minimal fiscal cost to the exchequer. Announcing the package, ` 110 per kilo Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said supply constraints in the economy had eased over recent months, but consumerdemandremainedaffected — and these measures were aimed at advancing consumer spending and capex in a “fiscally prudent way”. Capital expenditure steps are “directly linked to increase in economic output (GDP), given their high multiplier effect”, she said. Some economists argued thattheamountsweretoosmall to have any meaningful impact on economic growth, and that there was no additional spending push from the government itself. In response to a query, Department of Economic Affairs Secretary Tarun Bajaj said these measures would not require any extra borrowing by the central government. AnadditionalRs25,000crore is being provided for capital expenditure on roads, defence infrastructure,watersupply,urban development, and domestically produced capital equipment. Thisisexpectedtocomethrough re-allocation of resources. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Bid to put money in hand, then tying it too PROJECTED CONSUMPTION/ CAPEX BOOST LTC voucher scheme Festival advance scheme 28,000 8,000 Centre and state capex Est. private sector spend P VAIDYANATHAN IYER 37,000 28,000 TOTAL NEW DELHI, OCTOBER 12 1,01,000 Figures in Rs cr Sitharaman in New Delhi on Monday. Prem Nath Pandey GST deadlock on, Centre says can enable borrowing for Option 1 states ENS ECONOMIC BUREAU NEW DELHI, OCTOBER 12 THE STANDOFF between Opposition-ruled states and the Centre over compensation shortfall in Goods and Services TaxcontinuedattheGSTCouncil meeting Monday with both sidesfailingtoarriveataconsen- sus on the borrowing options made available. TheCentrestateditsintentto facilitate borrowing under Option 1 — Rs 1.1 lakh crore through a special window facilitated by the RBI and Finance Ministry — for the 21 states that agreed to this route while the other states termed the process as illegal. Stating that borrowing by the Centre will lead to a rise in G-sec yields and borrowing costs for states and the private sector, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that borrowing falls under Article 293 of the Constitution, and it is “a state’s right to decide what they want to do”. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Power outage trips up Mumbai, supply restored in most areas ` 138 per kilo NEW DELHI, OCTOBER 12 At Mumbai Central station on Monday after trains came to a halt due to the power outage. Ganesh Shirsekar Patients shifted from hospital after generator catches fire; one dies EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE MUMBAI, OCTOBER 12 AMASSIVEpoweroutagecaused by grid failure disrupted normal life in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) and beyond on Monday, bringing to a standstill for a few hours at mid-morning severalessentialservices,including suburban trains ferrying essential services workers, online exams and water supply. Whilepowersupplyinmany parts was restored within two hours,insomepartsof suburban Mumbai and Thane, supply had PAGE 1 ANCHOR BASTAR, OCTOBER 12 PAGE 9 THE EDITORIAL PAGE THE HATHRAS ‘CONSPIRACY’ BY ALOK RAI PAGE 10 MANISH SAHU LUCKNOW, OCTOBER 12 THE FAMILY members of the 19year-old Dalit woman, who died afterbeingassaultedandallegedly gangraped by four upper-caste meninHathras,toldtheLucknow benchoftheAllahabadHighCourt on Monday that the district administration carried out her cremation “against their wishes”. “Her family told the court that the cremation was done by the Hathras district administration against their wishes,” said senior advocate Jaideep Narain Mathur,whowasappointedamicus curiae in the case. “In his statement, Hathras District Magistrate Praveen Kumar Laxkar told the court that they had inputs about a huge law and order problem the next morning, following which they took the decision to carry out the cremation.TheDistrictMagistrate denied having sought any direction from Lucknow or got any guidancefromLucknowinthedecisionregardingthecremation.He told the court that the decision wastaken(byofficials)locally,including him,” said Mathur. A PTI report quoted Seema Kushwaha,counselforthefamily members, as saying that they wantedthecasetobetransferred out of the state. “The family CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 JOURNALIST HELD UNDER UAPA: MOVE HC, SAYS SC PAGE 8 Named in lawsuit, editors of Republic, Times Now hit back Monday moved the Delhi High Court against Republic TV and Times Now and their senior editors, seeking “perpetual and permanent” injunction against themfrommakingorpublishing “irresponsible, derogatory and defamatoryremarks”againstthe filmindustryandthosepartof it. The civil suit, filed via DSK Legal, is against Republic TV, its Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami and Consulting Editor Pradeep Bhandari; and, Times Now, its Editor-in-Chief Rahul Shivshankar, and Times Network Group Editor, Navika Kumar. Socialmediaplatformshavealso beenaddedaspartiestothecase. The petitioners have sought thecourt’sinterventiontoensure CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 not been restored late into the evening. The last time Mumbai experienced such a long outage was in 2018. Forty patients were shifted from Apex Hospital in Mulund after the generator caught fire due to overheating. The fire was extinguishedat6.12pm.Patients were shifted to Fortis Hospital, MulundCovidjumbofacilityand Astha Hospital. While shifting, 82-year-old Pandurang Kulkarni, who was criticalandsufferingfromCovid19, died on his way to another hospital. Sources said another CONTINUEDONPAGE2 PAGE4 When the grid failed & ‘islanding’ didn’t work EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE MUMBAI, OCTOBER 12 POWER OUTAGES of the kind that paralysed Mumbai on Monday are rare. The western power grid that serves these areas,plus“islanding”systems,are designed to supply power 24x7 to India’s financial nerve centre. The last big outage was in June 2018, but it was not as widespread as the one on Monday. A statement from the Chief Minister’sOffice(CMO)piecedto- gether the factors that led to the outage. Four 400 KV power lines supply electricity to Mumbai. Thesefourlinescometogetherat the 400 KV Kalwa substation in Thane and from there power is distributedtotheentireMumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR). Of the four lines, the 400 KV Kalwa-Talegaon line shut down on Saturday at 1:47 pm due to a broken conductor. The breakdowntookplaceinaremotearea at the top of the Sahyadri range, and was being repaired. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 In pandemic, Centre waved red flag on trafficking, but key states yet to take action From UP to Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh to Jharkhand, eight states fall short in setting up anti-trafficking units BUSINESS AS USUAL BY UNNY COVID ABUSE — 2 DIPANKAR GHOSE NEW DELHI, OCTOBER 12 THREE MONTHS ago, the Ministry of Home Affairs sent an advisorytoallstateslayingdown several markers to combat human trafficking — especially of children from families left in the lurch by the economic distress triggered by the lockdown. The (AHTUs) in every district on a “most urgent basis”. But official records investigatedbyTheIndianExpressshow thateightstates,includingCovid hotspots UP and Maharashtra, andJ&Kareyettoputtheseunits in place. In fact, records show, UP and Maharashtraareamongsixstates inthisgroupthathavenotreached abasicnormfirstmappedoutten yearsago:setupAHTUsinatleast CONTINUEDONPAGE2 key, it said, was the creation of Anti Human Trafficking Units PART 3: SOURCE TO DESTINATION: WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE To save their trees, Bastar’s tribals stand up to tradition GARGI VERMA THE ECONOMICS OF AUCTIONS Cremation against our wishes, Hathras victim’s family to HC AN EXPRESS INVESTIGATION DEEPTIMAN TIWARY SIMPLY PUT Family members of the Hathras victim arrive at the High Court, in Lucknow on Monday. Vishal Srivastav Top Bollywood producers move HC for curbs on 2 news channels THIRTY-EIGHTLEADINGcinema associations and production houses, including Karan Johar's Dharma Productions, Ajay Devgn Films, and those owned by Salman Khan, Aamir Khan and Shah Rukh Khan, on Rajnath: Pak, China are creating border disputes under a mission EXPLAINED CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 NEW DELHI, OCTOBER 12 ` 72 per Dozen CONTINUEDONPAGE8 E SOFI AHSAN ` 171 per kilo AMIDTALKSwiththeChineseto resolve the military standoff along the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said Monday that China and Pakistan have been creating border disputes “under a mission”. Inaugurating44bridgesbuilt bytheBorderRoadsOrganisation (BRO) in seven border states and Union Territories, and signalling thestartofworkontheNechiphu tunnel on the road to Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh, Singh said, “Youareawareof thesituationon our eastern and northern borders. It appears as if border disputes are being created under a mission, first by Pakistan and now even China.” “The two countries share 7,000 km of border with us and often in some sector or the other, JUST THREE DAYS ago, a consumer confidence survey by the Reserve Bank of India said discretionary spending was expected to remain low in the near future even though people expected an improvement not just ● in economic situation but also in employment conditions and income scenario. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s announcement on measures to boost consumer spending is clearly an acknowledgement thatpeoplegoingoutandspending is key to a faster turnaround of the economy. But then, two things stand out in the announcement: One, EXPLAINED But experts say demand impetus will be small, need bigger stimulus LESS THAN 4 km from the roadside memorial to the victims of the 2013 Maoist attack in Chhattisgarh’s Jhiram Ghati lies a giant sal, its full 150 feet sprawled on the forest floor. Off the road that winds through the jungle,severalsmallandbigtrees bear signs of recent hacking. On October 5, at least 108 trees in thisforestwerefelledtobuildthe chariot that is traditionally used duringtheDussehrafestivitiesin Bastar, local people said. Trees in the area around Jhiram Ghati were cut for this year’s celebrations because the village custodians of another patch of forest some 5 km away as the crow flies, which has supplied the chariot’s timber for the past 20 years, decided to no longer allow the practice. On September 1, the gram sabha of Kakalgud resolved they would not give any more trees from the forest around their village. “The 1,000-odd acres of jungle around our village is called Gadiya Malaang. The name was given by our forefathers because it was full of sal trees,” said Rambati, a former sarpanch of Kakalgud — “gadh (home or bastion in the local language) tha unka”. For years, trees from the forest were cut for the Dussehra chariot of Jagdalpur, Rambati said. Another villager, Ramuram (30), said, “We applied for community forest rights in 2017, but we never heard back from the government. But we do know that we can take decisions about ourpartof theforest.Wewillnot let any trees be cut.” Sadhu (28) said the villagers hadsubmittedalettertothecollector of the district. They had tried “everything”, he said, but allthey gotfrom governmentofficials was talk about “right and wrong,traditionanddisrespect”. Bhagwan, one of the village Residents of Kakalgud in Bastar have resolved not to let any of the trees around their village be cut. Gargi Verma elders locally referred to as ‘siyaan’, described how the treefelling tradition came to be. “The royal house (of Bastar) assigned each village specific tasks for Dussehra. For the cutting of trees, seven villages were identified, from where people would gather at Gadiya Malaang, and thetreeswouldbecut.Thetradition continued even after the royals were no longer there, as a form of respect to the king.” However,“respectshouldnot becomeacausefordestruction”, Bhagwan said. “The village has unanimouslydecidedtonotgive the trees. We are not disrespecting tradition, and are still giving rope, which too was assigned to us long ago.” Inthefaceof thevillagers’decision, the Dussehra committee of Bastar decided to respect the boundariesof thevillage,andcut trees from a different part of the forest — around Jhiram Ghati. There, villagers of Kakalgud pointed to at least 10 smaller, leaner trunks of sal lying abandoned by the road. “The smaller treetrunksarenotevencounted, so many of them are used as just levers (to pull down and roll bigger trees),” Sadhu said. Thehuge150-footsalwasnot taken away apparently because the trunk’s core was found to be hollow. But Kakalgud’s villagers CONTINUED ON PAGE 8
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