18072017-TTC-01.qxd 7/18/2017 1:22 AM Page 1 13 established in 1881 tuesday, july 18, 2017 late city chandigarh | gurugram | jalandhar | bathinda | jammu | srinagar | www.tribuneindia.com | vol. 1 no. 92 | 20 pages | ~4.50 | regd. no. chd/0006/2015-2017 /thetribunechd /thetribunechd Naidu NDA pick for Vice-Prez Heavy shelling in Rajouri, To take on Oppn’s Gopal Gandhi in election scheduled for Aug 5 Vibha Sharma Tribune News Service New Delhi, July 17 Unlike presidential nominee Ram Nath Kovind, BJP chief Amit Shah did not surprise today when he announced the name of Union Minister Muppavarapu Venkaiah Naidu as the party-led NDA’s choice for the August 5 vicepresidential election. A stalwart who fits BJP’s requirements for its southern outreach and the effective functioning of the Rajya Sabha, where the party-led NDA is in a minority, Naidu’s name had been doing the rounds for some time. The BJP’s top decision making body — parliamentary board — took the call this evening at a meeting attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and a day before the last date of filing the nomination papers. Naidu will file his papers at 11 am tomorrow. The PM, who now has to find a replacement for the 68year-old Naidu in his council of ministers, described him as a farmer’s son who will bring “years of experience in public life and is admired across the political spectrum”. Naidu later tonight tendered his resignation from both portfolios he was holding in the Modi Cabinet — Information and Broadcasting and Housing and Urban Affairs. Naidu is pitted against Gopalkrishna Gandhi, the Opposition candidate whose name was endorsed by all 18 Opposition parties, including the JD-U. However, senior BJP leaders claim Naidu will win with the support of as many as 550 members of the electoral college. Naidu had earlier ruled himself out of the race for VicePresident, saying he neither wanted to be “rashtrapati” or “uparashtrapati” and was happy being Usha’s “pati”. Poonch; soldier, 6-yr-old die Naik from Kashmir’s Tral killed; 16 schools shut indefinitely Amir Karim Tantray & Shyam Sood Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu (extreme left) waits in a queue along with other MPs to cast his vote during the presidential election at Parliament House in New Delhi on Monday. MUKESH AGGARWAL 99% turnout for President poll, chinks to fore in Oppn Tribune News Service New Delhi, July 17 Amid reports of cross-voting in favour of BJP-led NDA’s presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind, bringing to fore fissures in the Opposition unity, nearly 99 per cent lawmakers across the country voted to elect India’s 14th President today. In a setback to Opposition nominee Meira Kumar, senior Samajwadi Party leaders Mulayam Singh Yadav and Shivpal Yadav chose to go with Kovind, while in Tripura, a rebel Congress legislator and six Trinamool Congress legislators voted against her. In Punjab, former leader of Opposition HS Phoolka had already indicated he would not support the Opposition COUNTING ON JULY 20 ■ Counting will begin at 11 am on July 20. Parliament’s ballot box will be opened first, followed by those of states in alphabetical order ■ 10 states, including Haryana, HP, Uttarakhand, Gujarat, Assam and Bihar, recorded 100% voting candidate backed by the Congress, which, he said, “continued to shield perpetrators of the 1984 riots”. Given that no party whip is issued in presidential elections, MLAs close to Phoolka are believed to have followed suit. That Kovind would be the next occupant of the Rashtrapati Bhavan is a foregone conclusion. Senior BJP leaders say the main point of interest on July 20, when the results are announced, will not be who won, but the difference in votes polled by Kovind and Kumar. They say he may draw around 70 per cent votes given the way lawmakers from some Opposition parties supporting Kumar also “voted against her”. The BJP and allies hold around 63 per cent of the total vote value of the electoral college. For BJP chief Amit Shah, who supervised Kovind’s election reachout, the percentage of votes was another way to reaffirm his party’s reach and supremacy and the disarray in the Opposition camp ahead of the 2019 elections. He is believed to have asked party chief ministers to reach out to Opposition legislators in favour of Kovind. Jammu/Rajouri, July 17 Pakistani troops today resorted to heavy shelling in Balakote and Mankote sectors of Poonch district and also targeted Tarkundi and Manjakote sectors in Rajouri. A soldier and a six-year-old girl were killed in Tarkundi sector. Naik Muddasar Ahmed belonged to Duchoo village in Tral, Pulwama district, whereas the girl, Sajida Kafeel, was from Barooti Dadiana village in Rajouri district. In Manjakote, Muhammad Sharief and his wife Shah Begum of Panjgrain village were injured in heavy shelling. Shah Begum’s condition was said to be critical. Defence spokesperson Lt Col Manish Mehta said the Pakistani troops opened unprovoked fire on Indian posts in Rajouri sector at 7.30 am. The Indian Army retali- New Delhi, July 17 The Centre today opposed providing another window of opportunity to people to deposit demonetised notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 beyond the December 30, 2016 deadline, saying it would defeat the very purpose of demonetisation. In an affidavit filed with the top court, which is to hear petitions seeking a fresh chance to deposit demonetised notes tomorrow, the Ministry of Finance requested it to dismiss all such petitions. “The very object of demonetisation and elimination of black money will be defeated if a window is opened for a further period as the persons in possession of the SBNs (specified bank notes) would have had sufficient time and opportunity to carefully plan reasons and excuses for not depositing the SBNs before December 30, 2016," the affidavit read. “Any number of benami transactions and user proxies for the purpose of producing and depositing SBNs would then arise, and the departments would have great difficulty in deciding any genuine case from the numerous bogus ones,” the affidavit stated. It pointed out various malpractices post demonetisation, including the use of old SBNs for buying gold. The affidavit listed specific instances of how money was allegedly laundered and routed through accounts of shell companies and layered through intermediaries’ accounts before being received in accounts of bullion traders. This had forced the government to cancel or restrict certain exemptions, the government told the court, justifying the ordinance. Noting that those having legitimate reasons for not depositing demonetised notes before the December 2016 deadline should be given a window of opportunity, the Supreme Court had on July 4 asked the Centre and RBI to respond to the petitions on the matter. “What if someone was terminally-ill and could not deposit the money?” a Bench headed by Chief Justice of India JS Khehar had asked Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar while hearing the petitions, challenging the December 30 notification disallowing people to deposit demonetised notes. “If someone has a genuine reason, you (government) cannot deny him the opportunity to deposit the money. You cannot be allowed to deprive a person of his money. Don’t force us to quash your notification,” the Bench had told Ranjit Kumar. Harried Punjab farmers to take on govt LOAN WAIVER 7 unions give call for protest rally in Barnala next month Ruchika M Khanna Tribune News Service Chandigarh, July 17 Punjab’s debt relief and waiver scheme may well turn out to be an albatross around its neck. With the huge fall in loan recovery, cooperative banks in the state will not be able to get any re-finance from NABARD (National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development) and thus give loan to farmers. On the other hand, farmers who refuse to repay loans will become ineligible for future loans for defaulting on pay- ment. Also, they will be forced to take loans from private moneylenders/arhtiyas at high rates of interest. Realising the situation that they are in, the farmers have decided to up their ante against the Congress government. At least seven farmers’ unions — BKU (Ekta Ugrahan), BKU (Dakonda), BKU (Krantikari), Kirti Kisan Union, Krantikari Kisan Union, Kisan Sangharsh Committee, and Kisan Sangharsh Committee (Azad) — have called for a protest rally in Barnala next month. “Farmers, especially those who maintain a good credit culture, get an interest subvention of 3 per cent and avail loans at a 4 per cent rate of interest from banks. With these farmers now becoming ineligible for fresh loans because of default in payment, they will be forced to take loans from private moneylenders at 18-24 per cent,” said Sukhdev Singh Kokrikalan of BKU (Ekta Ugrahan). Meanwhile, the Punjab Government is still looking at ways and means to deal with the crisis. A Rs 3,600-crore crop loan is yet to be recovered from small and marginal farmers. It is this recovered amount that is paid back to NABARD, which then refinances cooperative banks for the next crop cycle. The government is worried as it has to keep the banking sector afloat. Finance Minister Manpreet Badal today said the government would bail out the banks, but it remains to be seen how it does that. The recovery of district cooperative banks has fallen by 30 per cent because of demonetisation and promised debt waiver. Today’s issue is of 20 pages, including four-page Bathinda Tribune. ated strongly and effectively. In the exchange of fire, Naik Muddasar Ahmed (37) was grievously injured when mortar shells landed on his bunker. He later succumbed to his injuries. He is survived by his wife Shaheena Muddasar and two children. “Naik Muddasar Ahmed was a brave soldier. He loved his job to the core. The nation will remain indebted to him for his supreme sacrifice and devotion to duty,” Lt Col Mehta said. Bengaluru, July 17 ferred after they sparred over a The Karnataka Government report on the allegations in today shunted out a top public. The government also woman police officer who had shifted Bengaluru central jail brought to light the Chief Superintendent “special treatment” to Krishna Kumar, who AIADMK (Amma) was blamed by Roopa leader VK Sasikala in for alleged illegal activprison and dragged ities in the prison. her senior into a As Roopa’s transfer bribery row over the stirred a controversy D Roopa matter. with the Opposition In tandem with the shifting slamming the move, the govof DIG (Prisons) D Roopa, ernment said despite the DGP (Prisons) HN Sathya- inquiry being in process, both narayana Rao was also trans- went to the media. — PTI Centre in SC: Won’t take old notes Tribune News Service Naik Muddasar Ahmed New Delhi: India’s Director General of Military Operations (DGMO) on Monday made it clear to his Pakistani counterpart that the Indian Army was sincere in maintaining peace along the Line of Control as long as Pakistan reciprocated. However, the Army will retaliate to any firing from across the LoC. DGMO Lt Gen AK Bhatt told Pakistani counterpart Maj Gen Sahir S Mirza over the hotline that the “Indian Army reserved the right to retaliate appropriately to any violation of ceasefire”. Army spokesperson Col Aman Anand said the DGMO pointed out that all violations of the 2003 ceasefire were initiated by the Pakistan army. The Pak DGMO said four soldiers had died in Indian firing in PoK opposite the Keran sector in Kupwara. TNS Several villages have been affected by the heavy shelling. The district administration has had to shut at least 16 schools for an indefinite period. At least 120 students trapped inside a school in Panjgrain have been evacuated. Pakistani troops also violated the ceasefire agreement in Bhimber Gali sector of Poonch district. Rajouri DC Shahid Iqbal Choudhary held a meeting with locals at Panjgrain and briefed them on the arrange- ments made for setting up camps in case of evacuation, ration and medicine supplies. Pakistani troops also resorted to unprovoked firing at three villages in Kamalkote area of Uri in Baramulla later in the day, defence sources said. One soldier was injured. Media reports in Pakistan said four Pakistani soldiers were killed on Sunday when their jeep, hit by a shell, fell into a river. Three militants killed P11 DIG who blew lid off Cigarette cess up, to hit Sasikala jail sops shifted makers, no price change Hoshiarpur jail inmates’ Court to take up petitions today for permission to deposit DeMo currency flee bid foiled Satya Prakash RESERVE RIGHT TO RETALIATE: DGMO Tribune News Service Sanjiv Kumar Bakshi Hoshiarpur, July 17 Ten members of the notorious Jaggu and Bhana gangs, lodged in the Hoshiarpur Central Jail, today scaled the walls of two blocks, entered another block and tried to free convict Gurpreet Singh Ladi, assaulting the jail warders and employees. Even as Deputy Jail Superintendent Harbhajan Singh and jail guards scuffled with them, the jail alarm was sounded and a police team led by DSP Sukhwinder Singh reached the spot. The gangsters were nabbed and each of them sent to a high-security cell. Harbhajan Singh’s uniform was reportedly torn. Asha Nand, Assistant Jail Superintendent, said he had written to the city police to lodge an FIR against undertrials Manpreet Singh alias Mani, Shamsher alias Shera, Paramjit alias Pamma, Satish Gill, Dalbir Singh alias Dalbira, Ranvir Singh and Gurpreet Singh alias Gopi and convicts Charhat Singh, Daljeet Singh alias Bhana and Rajbir Singh. China holds live-fire drills in Tibet The Chinese military on Monday said it had conducted live-fire exercises in the remote Tibet region to test its strike capability on plateaus, amid the standoff between Indian and Chinese troops in the Doklam area of Sikkim. PAGE 7 New Delhi, July 17 The GST Council today raised the cess on cigarettes to take away an estimated Rs 5,000-crore annual “windfall” manufacturers could have reaped from lower GST rates, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said today. However, cigarette prices will not change as a result of the increased cesseffective from midnight. Jaitley said it had previously fixed a peak GST rate of 28 per cent on cigarettes. On top of it, a cess was levied to cre- ate a corpus for compensating states for any loss of revenue. The cess was made up of 5 per cent ad valorem rate and a fixed per 1,000 stick rate based on length of cigarettes. The peak GST rate as also the ad valorem cess will continue but the fixed cess has been hiked in the range of Rs 485 and 792 per 1,000 sticks. The rates fixed in May were lower than the pre-GST tax incidence and the choice before manufacturers was to cut rates or pocket profits. — PTI
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