05102017-TTC-01.qxd 10/5/2017 1:30 AM Page 1 13 established in 1881 thursday, october 5, 2017 late city chandigarh | gurugram | jalandhar | bathinda | jammu | srinagar | www.tribuneindia.com | vol. 137 no. 275 | 28 pages | ~4.50 | regd. no. chd/0006/2015-2017 /thetribunechd /thetribunechd Same rates,RBI Slow growth not Stubble-burning:Punjab rapped sees slowdown for first time:PM NGT: Motivate farmers to shun practice, list steps on October 11 Amarjit Thind Says GST may delay investment revival Sanjeev Sharma Tribune News Service Tribune News Service Mumbai, October 4 The Reserve Bank today kept the benchmark interest rates unchanged on fears of rising inflation while lowering the growth forecast to 6.7 per cent for the current fiscal, but looked to spur the cooling economy by freeing over Rs 55,000 crore for banks to lend. With five of the six members of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) voting for no change, RBI at its bimonthly policy review kept the benchmark repurchase or repo rate at a near sevenyear low of 6 per cent. Keeping its policy stance at ‘neutral’, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) raised its inflation forecast to a range of 4.2 to 4.6 per cent during the remainder of the current fiscal as against 4 to 4.5 per cent previously stated. It also lowered the growth estimate for the fiscal ending March 31, 2018, to 6.7 per cent from the previously predicted 7.3 per cent. However, to spur the economy, it lowered the proportion of deposits banks need to invest in specified securities, such as government bonds, to 19.5 per cent from 20 effective October 14, freeing over Rs New Delhi, October 4 Slamming critics of the government for creating an atmosphere of despondency over the slowdown in the economy, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today talked up the economy and said the government is committed to take decisive steps to reverse the trend and indicated measures to boost exports, the MSME sector and a review of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) to iron out the compliance problems the small units are facing. Addressing the golden jubilee celebration of the Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI), Modi listed the economic reforms and achievements of the government in the last three years and said that they outshone the last three years of the UPA government. Putting up a brave front in the light of strong criticism on the slowdown in the economy, this is the second time in the last couple of weeks that the PM has virtually given a report card on the economy through a presentation comparing it with the UPA on sectoral parameters. Slamming critics and Chandigarh, October 4 The Punjab Government today cut a sorry figure before the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on the issue of stubbleburning with the tribunal directing the state counsel to list “concrete” steps it intended to take to tackle the menace on the next hearing date (October 11). Fearing a reprimand, top functionaries of the state Agriculture Department did not attend the hearing. The only proposal listed by the department today was selecting Kallar Majri village near Patiala for a pilot project under which the farmers would be paid an incentive of Rs 1,000 per acre for not burning stubble. BKU chief Balbir Singh Rajewal questioned the government proposals, arguing that these were ornamental. “How will the state replicate this project in over 12,500 villages given the fiscal stress?” he asked. He pointed out that the farmers needed to clear the paddy straw in their fields for sowing wheat. “What about the farmers who have to grow vegetables? The window given to them for clearing the fields has been too small,” he SLR cut by 0.5 pc ■ The RBI reduced the Statutory Liquidity Ratio (SLR), the portion of deposits held by banks in government securities, by 0.5 per cent to 19.5 per cent ■ The move will free over ~55,000 crore to bank funds for lending 55,000 crore for banks to lend. RBI had lowered the Statutory Liquidity Ratio (SLR) by the same amount in June. The implementation of Goods and Services Tax (GST) had an adverse impact on manufacturing and may delay investment revival, it said, hoping that there will be simplification of the new indirect tax regime to ease the business process. Like the repo rate, the reverse repo — the rate at which RBI borrows from banks — has been kept unchanged at 5.75 per cent. In its last review in August, RBI had slashed the benchmark lending rate by 0.25 percentage points to 6 per cent, the lowest in six years. — PTI MODI SLAMS CRITICS There are some people who sleep well only after they spread a feeling of pessimism all around. We need to recognise such people Narendra Modi, PRIME MINISTER . naysayers for “selective criticism”, Modi said it is not the first time that India’s GDP had fallen to 5.7 per cent. In the previous UPA government, he said it fell eight times below this point. He went on to allege that even big bang reforms like FDI in insurance were discounted by the same critics who were very enthusiastic about them during the UPA regime. He said the government had carried out 87 small and big reforms across 21 sectors. continued on page 7 In new light Tribune News Service The new LED lights lend an ethereal view to the illuminated Golden Temple complex in Amritsar on Wednesday night. Gurdaspur, October 4 Even as former Akali minister Sucha Singh Langah, on the run since September 29 when he was booked for rape, was sent to police custody for five days after he surrendered before a court here today, the Sarbat Khalsa-appointed “Jathedars” issued an edict, excommunicating him from the Panth. Meanwhile, sources said former MLA Sucha Singh Chhotepur, who formed the Apna Punjab Party after he was removed by AAP as state convener, had been approached by the Akalis and his return to his parent party was imminent. “I will decide on Friday,” was Chhotepur’s reply when contacted. — TNS more on page 2 contended. Pointing out that debt-ridden farmers of Punjab were resorting to suicide, he argued how then could small and marginal farmers be expected to spend lakhs on buying costly Conservation Agriculture (CA) implements. The tribunal directed the Punjab Government to present its case afresh, with cutoff dates for the implementation of measures to stop stubble-burning and the finances arranged for the same on the next date of hearing on October 11. “If LACsummer vigil extends into winter Ajay Banerjee 5-day remand for Langah Farmers from Punjab staging a dharna outside the headquarters of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) in New Delhi on Wednesday, demanding incentive for not burning stubble. MANAS RANJAN BHUI Under the ~13-crore project, at least 1,700 LED lights have been installed, with total load less than 10 KW. VISHAL KUMAR New Delhi, October 4 In what may indicate a “frosty winter” ahead for the India-China military relations, the Army has extended its ongoing “operational alert” all along the 3,488-km Line of Actual Control (LAC), the de facto boundary with China. Operational alert by the Indian Army along the LAC entails high-altitude acclimatisation of a greater number of troops as the LAC along the Himalayan ridgeline is at heights that have rarefied oxygen — it takes around four weeks for acclimatisation of a human being. Additional force is stationed at identified vulnerable points along the LAC. All military platforms like artillery guns, tanks, shortrange shoulder-fired missiles have to be kept in a state of readiness. Also, the repair of all roads and bridges is done constantly. Confirming this to The Tribune, a top source said: “So far, no instructions have been issued to wind down the operational alert and it could get extended well into the winter.” continued on page 11 J&K Bar questioning accession ‘shocks’ SC CJI says it was a mistake to ask Association to explain reasons behind protests in Kashmir Satya Prakash Tribune News Service New Delhi, October 4 Expressing “shock” over the submission of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court Bar Association (Srinagar) questioning the state’s accession to India, the Supreme Court on Wednesday made it clear that it didn’t want to go into the political reasons behind the protests in the state. “We are slightly shocked,” a three-judge Bench headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra said after lawyers representing the Bar Association questioned the state’s accession and accused security personnel of pursuing a “catch-and-kill” policy. As the Bench took exception to their affidavit, Bar president Mian Abdul Qayoom and another senior counsel from Srinagar said the court itself had asked it to explain the reasons behind the protests in Kashmir. They went on to tell the court that successive elections since the state’s accession to India had been rigged and there were historical reasons behind the unrest. “If this court really wanted to know the reasons behind the protests, then it was a mistake,” CJI Misra said while hearing a petition filed by the J&K HC Bar Association (Srinagar) challenging an order of the state HC dismissing their plea for a ban on the use of pellet guns. It was CJI Misra’s predecessor Justice JS Khehar who had asked the Bar Association to explain the reasons behind the protests and suggest ways and means to resolve the problem. The CJI’s comments came after Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar demanded dismissal of the petition, objecting to their submission that termed the accession of the state to India as “mysterious”. “They want us to talk to those indulging in violence… And they are questioning the very accession with India… They have described it as mysterious way of accession…,” Kumar had told the top court on August 21. The Bench initially wanted the petitioners to go back to the HC for final disposal of their petition but later fixed January 18 for hearing their plea against the use of pellet guns against protesters. Scheme to rename schools back, not for money Balwant Garg Tribune News Service Faridkot, October 4 Punjab’s Department of School Education has revived a five-year-old scheme of renaming government schools after private persons. However, instead of donations, it will be the latter’s credentials that will count. Earlier, anyone who donated a certain sum could have a government school renamed after his/her close ones. Rechristening schools will now be a salutary practice and only in case of “those deceased who sacrificed their life for the freedom of the country or undertook great social service or made substantial contribution in the social, historical and cultural fields at the state and national levels”, states the new policy. “Before the name change, there would be a thorough verification of the credentials Punjab does away with name change in lieu of donation and public reputation of the deceased at different layers,” reads a letter by the department secretary sent to all circle education officers and district education officers (DEOs) today. When the scheme to rename government schools for money was introduced in May 2012, it were mostly the NRIs who showed an interest in naming schools after their dear ones. But the scheme was restrained by the Punjab and Haryana High Court in April 2014 with the court ruling: “Naming a public educational institution as per the choice of people who could afford to give Rs 10 lakh for a primary school, Rs 20 lakh for middle school and Rs 25 lakh for a senior secondary school is violative of the Constitution”. While a school cannot be renamed on the basis of donation, the “name of the donor will be displayed prominently in rooms, school library and lab if the donor has borne 100 per cent expenses for its construction”, reads the letter. If a person donates land for a school, the market value of the land will be assessed to decide if he/she is to be given credit for the same. Today’s issue is of 28 pages, including six-page Chandigarh Tribune and four-page Life+Style. Mum on red-ink entries The NGT did not refer to the red-ink entries in the revenue records on farmers who had taken to burning stubble even though the issue was raised by BKU leader Rajewal. . need be, the help of the BKU chief may be sought,” the court observed. Advocate IG Kapila, appearing for the farmers, told the tribunal the Punjab Government had adopted a “selective approach” and that farmers were being harassed with hefty fines under the pretext of the NGT order. The NGT had earlier taken Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Rajasthan to task for not submitting action plans to prevent the pollution emanating from stubble-burning. Fixing the penalty per incident of crop burning (small landowner Rs 2,500, medium Rs 5,000 and big Rs 15,000), it had directed these states to take coercive and punitive action against persistent defaulters and to withdraw assistance to such farmers. US:China’s Belt policy crosses ‘disputed’ area Washington, October 4 The Trump administration today threw its weight behind India’s opposition to China’s ambitious ChinaPakistan Economic Corridor, saying the $50 billion project passes through “disputed territory” and no country should dictate the belt and road initiative. The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) passes through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), over which India has conveyed its protests to China. The area covers Karakoram mountain ranges, including the Siachen glacier. “In a globalised world, there are many belts and many roads, and no one nation should put itself into a position of dictating ‘one belt, one road’,” US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis told members of the Senate Armed Services Committee during a Congressional hearing. “That said, the One Belt One Road (OBOR) also goes through disputed territory, and I think, that in itself shows the vulnerability of trying to establish that sort of a dictate,” Mattis said, apparently referring to India’s position on CPEC. Mattis was responding to a question from Senator Charles Peters on OBOR and China’s policy. “The One Belt One Road strategy seeks to secure China’s control over both the continental and the maritime interest, in their eventual hope of dominating Eurasia and exploiting natural resources there, things that are certainly at odds with US policy. So what role do you see China playing in Afghanistan, and particularly related to their One Belt One Road?” Peter asked Mattis. India skipped the Belt and Road Forum (BRF) in May this year due to its sovereign- Jim Mattis, US Defence Secretary Pak has to realise tide has shifted: Mattis Washington: Pakistan can have strong economic benefits from India if it realises that the “tide has shifted” and it stops providing safe havens to terrorists on its soil, US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis has said. Mattis told members of the Senate Armed Services Committee that the Trump administration is very clear and firm in what it expects from Pakistan and is using all aspects of the government to bring about the change, working internationally. His statement comes weeks after President Donald Trump announced his Afghanistan and South Asia policy in which he adopted a tough policy against Pakistan. PTI ty concerns over the CPEC, a flagship project of China’s prestigious Silk Road project, officially called OBOR. The 3,000-km-long CEPC is aimed at connecting China and Pakistan with rail, road, pipelines and optical fiber cable network. It connects Xinjiang province with Gwadar port, providing access to China to the Arabian Sea. The project, when completed, would enable China to pump its oil supplies from the Middle East through pipelines to Xinjiang, cutting considerable distance for Chinese ships to travel to China. — PTI
The Tribune, now published from Chandigarh, started publication on February 2, 1881, in Lahore (now in Pakistan). It was started by Sardar Dyal Singh Majithia, a public-spirited philanthropist, and is run by a trust comprising four eminent persons as trustees.
The Tribune, the largest selling daily in North India, publishes news and views without any bias or prejudice of any kind. Restraint and moderation, rather than agitational language and partisanship, are the hallmarks of the paper. It is an independent newspaper in the real sense of the term.
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