30012018-TTC-01.qxd 1/30/2018 1:18 AM Page 1 13 established in 1881 tuesday, january 30, 2018 chandigarh | gurugram | jalandhar | bathinda | jammu | srinagar | www.tribuneindia.com | vol. 2 no. 29 | 16 pages | ~4.50 | regd. no. chd/0006/2018-2020 /thetribunechd /thetribunechd 7-7.5% growth projected in 2018-19 50% jump in indirect taxpayers post-GST; focus on agri push, investment revival FISCAL INDICATORS AND FORECAST Economic Survey Sanjeev Sharma Tribune News Service New Delhi, January 29 While identifying employment, education and agriculture as core focus areas, the Economic Survey for 2017-18 has projected a recovery in the growth rate of the economy to 7-7.5 per cent in the next fiscal as the impact of demonetisation and Goods and Services Tax (GST) wanes. The Economic Survey for 2017-18 presented in Parliament by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley two days before the government’s fifth and final Union Budget has pegged the growth rate for the current fiscal at 6.75 per cent as recovery picked up in the second half. The survey document for this year comes in pink colour, which highlights gender issues against the backdrop of development. Notification lapse to boost realty near UT INFLATION Average retail inflation declined to six-year low of 3.3 per cent in 2017-18, with the economy moving towards a more stable price regime TAX DISPUTES Separate HC Benches recommended for tax cases to prune pendency. Claims for indirect and direct tax in litigation stood at ~7.58 lakh cr by March 2017 EMPLOYMENT Real estate and construction sector will create over 15 million jobs over next five years despite signs of stress in the segment in last few quarters The survey has highlighted that against the emerging macro-economic concerns, policy vigilance will be necessary in the coming year, especially if high international oil prices persist or elevated stock prices correct sharply, provoking a ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ GROWTH OUTLOOK If macro-economic stability is kept under control, growth could start recovering towards its medium-term potential of 8% — Survey ❝ ■ ■ ■ ■ Demonetisation has encouraged financial savings Tax collection by states, local govts lower than those in other federal countries Insolvency Code being actively used to resolve NPA woes Policy vigilance needed if oil prices stay high or stock prices correct sharply Foreign exchange reserves grew by 14.1% from end of Dec 2016 to end of Dec 2017 Climate change has had an adverse impact on agricultural yields Swachh Bharat initiative improved sanitation coverage in rural areas from 39% to 76% Indian society exhibits a strong desire for a male child Survey in pink colour to highlight gender issues MORE ON BACK PAGE “sudden stall” in capital flows. On the agenda for the next year, the survey has listed supporting agriculture, stabilising the GST, completing the twin balance sheet (TBS) actions, privatising Air India, and staving off threats to macro- economic stability. Calling for the need to revive investments rather than savings, the survey seeks to achieve economic growth on the strength of the only two truly sustainable engines — private investment and exports. The survey has also called for utmost priority to social infrastructure like education, health and social protection to engineer an inclusive and sustainable growth. It has called for timely dispute resolution, including tax litigation. All these pointers in the survey indicate that the Budget is likely to focus on these areas in the final year before the 2019 General Election. Chief Economic Adviser Arvind Subramanian said there has been a boost in registered direct and indirect taxpayers. This includes a 50 per cent increase in unique indirect taxpayers under the GST compared to the pre-GST system and an addition of about 1.8 million individual income tax filers since demonetisation in November 2016. The survey noted that the sum of all government efforts increased income tax collections, thus far, between Rs 65,000 and Rs 90,000 crore. These numbers imply a substantial increase in reported incomes (and hence in formalisation) of about 1.5 per cent to 2.3 per cent of the GDP . Continued on back page Edit: guarded growth Colours of Republic Prez backs talaq Bill, simultaneous polls Aditi Tandon Tribune News Service CEA: Crony socialism to stigmatised capitalism The last 50-60 years have seen a shift in attitude from what I call crony socialism to stigmatised capitalism. Arvind Subramanian, CEA IN 2 YRS, UNIVERSAL BASIC INCOME: GOVT Chief Economic Adviser Arvind Subramanian expressed hope that at least one or two states will implement the idea of universal basic income (UBI) in the next two years. Subramanian in the Economic Survey 2016-17 had mooted the idea of universal basic income or a uniform stipend paid to every adult and child, poor or rich. “I can bet... within the next two years, at least one or two states will implement UBI,” Subramanian said. New Delhi, January 29 In his first address to the joint sitting of Parliament today, President Ram Nath Kovind backed the pending antiinstant triple talaq Bill and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “one nation, one election” proposal, besides lauding the government’s commitment to “empowerment, and not appeasement”. The Budget Session commenced today with the President’s address and the Houses were adjourned till February 1 after the tabling of the Economic Survey. In his 45-minute address devoted mainly to the BJP dispensation’s pro-women, pro-poor and pro-farmer measures, Kovind spoke of nation building as a collective effort, urging leaders to display “exemplary conduct”. He said: “For decades, the dignity of Muslim women has remained captive to political cost benefit. Now, the nation has an opportunity to emancipate them. My government has tabled a Bill on triple talaq in Parliament. I hope the Parliament will AG: CBI should not file Bofors case plea Chandigarh: The Punjab Government is likely to let the Punjab Land Preservation Act, 1900, notification pertaining to villages surrounding Chandigarh, lapse. This would mean a windfall for land sharks, who have bought huge chunks of land in this ecologically fragile area, but are not allowed any construction or land breaking under the Act. PAGE 3 Raghunath temple to remain royal property New Delhi: The 17th century Raghunath temple of Kullu in Himachal Pradesh will remain a royal family property with the Supreme Court on Monday disposing of a plea challenging an HC order rejecting a petition against a state government order for taking its control. The Jai Ram Thakur government told the SC that it has reversed the decision of the Virbhadra government. PAGE 10 ❝ A view of the illuminated Rashtrapati Bhavan after the Beating Retreat ceremony at Vijay Chowk in New Delhi on Monday. The event included a tribute piece for late Marshal of the Indian Air Force Arjan Singh. TRIBUNE PHOTO: MANAS RANJAN BHUI New Delhi, January 29 The CBI should not file a special leave petition (SLP) before the Supreme Court in a case related to the Bofors gun payoff as it is likely to be dismissed, Attorney General KK Venugopal has advised the government. In a recent letter to the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), Venugopal said the CBI should present its stand in a similar case pending before the apex court in which the agency is also a party. The CBI said it wanted to file an SLP challenging the Delhi High Court order of May 31, 2005, quashing all charges against Europebased Hinduja brothers in the Bofors case. The CBI had on January 22, 1990, registered an FIR for alleged criminal conspiracy, cheating and forgery under the IPC and sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act against Martin Ardbo, then president of AB Bofors, alleged middleman Win Chadha and the Hindujas. The DoPT had sought legal opinion from the Attorney General on the CBI’s request that it be allowed to file the SLP sources said. , In a letter, Venugopal said: “Now, more than 12 years have elapsed. Any SLP filed before the Supreme Court at this stage, in my view, is likely to be dismissed on account of the long delay itself.” He said the record does not reveal any significant events or special circumstances which could constitute sufficient cause for not approaching the SC within the 90 days permitted by law, or at any time thereafter. — PTI ALSO IN ADDRESS... ■ Removal of restrictions on Muslim women of over 45 years of age to undertake Haj pilgrimage without the company of male relatives ■ Schemes for women, farmers and poor; GST; jump in Ease of Doing Business rankings; improvement in internal security of country soon pass the Bill into a law. The law will enable Muslim women to live a life of selfrespect with courage.” Underlining BJP’s “minority empowerment and not appeasement”, he mentioned removal of restrictions on Muslim women over 45 years to undertake Haj pilgrimage without the company of male relatives. Continued on back page SC notice to 3 states on cow vigilantism New Delhi, January 29 Acting on a contempt petition filed by Mahatma Gandhi’s great grandson Tushar Gandhi, the Supreme Court on Monday issued notices to Rajasthan, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh for allegedly not complying with its order to check cow vigilante groups. A Bench headed by CJI Dipak Misra asked the three states to file their replies by April 3. Emphasising that it was the duty of states to maintain law and order, the SC had on September 6, 2017, asked them to take action against cow vigilante groups which had been indulging in violence against cattle traders. “This must stop. The law is in place… Planned action is needed so that vigilantism doesn’t grow in this sphere, not in any sphere for that matter,” the court had said. — TNS CM: Will take Army FIR Pre-2006 SSC, women ~2.82-cr gold heist in Mishap, suicide? Bullet kills Jaito to its logical conclusion Army officers get relief Panipat, staff hostage woundresolve dispute withDSP Had gone to students Arteev Sharma Tribune News Service Jammu, January 29 Rejecting alliance partner BJP’s demand for withdrawal of an FIR against Army men in the Shopian killing case, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti today said, “It becomes the duty of the government to take it (FIR) to its logical conclusion if an Army officer has made a mistake.” Concluding her speech during a discussion on the incident in the Legislative Assembly, she said, “I don’t think the Army will get demoralised by a single FIR... if somebody has made a mistake, he should be punished. It will add to the glory of the institution.” She said the incident had put the government efforts to start the political process on the “back foot”. “I spoke to Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and her response was positive. She told me to take appropriate action if I felt something wrong had been done. We got ❝ I don’t think the Army will get demoralised by a single FIR. It is an institution and it has played a good role, but there can be black sheep also. Mehbooba Mufti, J&K CHIEF MINISTER an FIR registered and ordered a magisterial probe.” She said the police had advised the Army not to take the Gowanpora route — where the killings took place. “There was some exchange between Army men and they took the route. The convoy was pelted with stones. The Army opened fire to disperse the crowd in which two died.” Former CM Omar Abdullah took a dig at the CM for politicising the issue: “Mehbooba only knows to play politics over dead bodies.” Edit: Army firing in Shopian MoD withdraws plea against AFT order Vijay Mohan Tribune News Service Chandigarh, January 29 In a big relief to short service and women officers commissioned before 2006, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has withdrawn its appeal filed in the Supreme Court challenging a judgment of the Armed Forces Tribunal in favour of such officers. The move apparently resolves the longstanding issue of denial of promotions and benefits. “About 200 women and 1,500 male officers, who could not be promoted beyond the rank of Captain despite some of them having put in 14 years of service, will now get their rightful due,” Ashwariya Bhatti, counsel for some officers, said. On implementation of recommendations of the Ajai Vikram Singh Committee, the Centre had in 2004 fixed promotion to the rank of Captain, Major and Lieutenant Colonel at two, six, and 13 years of service, respectively. Though the promotions were applicable to all commissioned officers, the benefit was later withheld from Short Service Commission (SSC) male as well as women officers because of the way the orders were interpreted. The benefits were not extended despite a gazette notification issued by the MoD extending the same to all affected officers. In 2006, when the short service engagement terms were changed from 5+5+4 years to 10+4 years, the benefit was duly extended to those officers who opted for the new scheme. This resulted in a sharp disparity where officers senior in service were discharged at substantive Lieutenants and Captain ranks, while the juniors were making it to the rank of Lt Colonel. The discrimination was set aside by the AFT, but it was challenged in the Supreme Court. Sources said Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had approved withdrawal of the appeal last week. Mukesh Tandon Tribune News Service Balwant Garg Panipat, January 29 In a broad daylight heist, three masked men took away gold worth Rs 2.82 crore and Rs 2.45 lakh in cash from the office of a private gold loan company near Bhim Goda Chowk on the Panipat-Haridwar highway today. The miscreants held three employees of Indian Infoline Finance Limited (IIFL) hostage before fleeing. The incident took place around 10.15 am when three employees — cashier Sonia, clerk Bharat Bhushan and sweeper Mukesh — were present at IIFL’s first-floor office located in one of the busiest areas of the city. Three armed youths entered the office and tied up Mukesh, Sonia and Bharat Bhushan with a rope, claimed Mukesh. One of the miscreants then took Sonia and Bharat Bhushan along in turns to open the chest before tying them up again, the sweeper asserted. The miscreants Tribune News Service The rope with which the three masked men had allegedly tied IIFL staff in Panipat on Monday. removed gold and cash from the chest and closed the main gate of the office before fleeing, claimed Sonia. The employees later freed themselves and informed the police control room. DSP (Headquarters) Jagdeep Duhan, DSP Rajesh Kumar and teams of the Forensic Science Laboratory and CIA reached the scene. Duhan said seven teams had been constituted to investigate the incident and nab the accused. Jaito (Faridkot), January 29 Deputy Superintendent of police (DSP) Baljinder Singh Sandhu, posted at Jaito in Faridkot, died after a bullet fired from his service weapon hit him in the head this afternoon. He had gone to the Punjabi University Regional Centre, Jaito, to resolve an issue between students and the police. Hours after the incident, the police registered a case under Section 306 of the IPC (abetment to suicide) against some unidentified students and members of the Bharti Kisan Union (Dakonda). Lal Singh, DSP Sandhu’s gunman who was standing beside him, is under treatment at Guru Gobind Singh Medical College and Hospital, Faridkot, as some bullet shrapnel had hit him. Some students have been rounded up in this connection. DSP Sandhu is survived by his wife and son. Baljinder Singh Sandhu The incident occurred while the DSP was negotiating with the students, who were protesting against Jaito SHO Gurmeet Singh for allegedly thrashing three students, including a girl, on January 12. Some BKU men were supporting them. Demanding an unconditional apology from the SHO, students and farmers had given a call for a protest march on Monday. The DSP was trying to end the standoff as Continued on page 7
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.
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